A tricked-out Pronto Pup stand will fill the vacancy left at the State Fair when the Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall announced last week that it was shutting down after 80 years. The supplier for the fair’s Pronto Pup concessions has bought the diner and will make it a showcase.
Another food and beverage destination will replace the former Pet Center, fair officials announced Wednesday.
Don’t worry, pet lovers: Animals will be featured in an inviting new space of their own. Earlier this year, fair officials revealed plans to spend $1 million to upgrade the part of the fairgrounds that used to be known as Machinery Hill, and with it the new Pet Pavilions. Located at Underwood Street and Murphy Avenue, the new attraction will feature a demonstration area and an open-air venue for pet exhibits and vendors and visitors.
When the fair opens Aug. 23, guests will find the back of the former Robbinsdale dining hall at 1315 Underwood St. transformed into a Pronto Pup production facility. Fairgoers will be able to watch through a window as 70 tons of batter is made during the fair and used to supply vendors who sell the iconic food-on-a-stick.
The front of the building will be a retail outlet, said Abby Harazin, a fair spokeswoman.
The former Pet Center will be renamed The Hangar and offer food, Minnesota craft beer and live entertainment. Operated by the owners of the former Texas Steak Out, the name is a nod to the building’s history — it was used to exhibit aircraft in the early 1900s.
Other plans for 2018 call for the X-Zone BMX bike and skateboard park to move to a new location, between Cooper and Cosgrove streets on Murphy Avenue.
The fair also is putting in new restrooms, streetlights and landscaping and remaking a one-block segment near the Giant Sing Along and SkyGlider on Murphy Avenue on the fairgrounds’ north end.
This year’s fair runs Aug. 23 to Sept. 3. Admission will remain the same as in 2017: $14 for visitors 13 to 64; $12 for youths 5 to 12 and seniors 65 and older; and free for kids 4 and younger. Discount tickets sold before the fair begins will be $11 for all ages.
A record 1,997,320 people attended the fair in 2017.