This week two high-profile restaurants announced they would close, and there was great wailing. Makes you wonder what’s the oldest restaurant in town these days; if you look back at the ads of the 60s, they’re all long gone. Now and then I find a postcard of a cafe i’d never heard about, and here’s one:
Some googling reveals the approximate era: there’s a photo in the Strib archives titled “Turbitt, Eleanor C, (Mrs.), Anglesey cafe cashier, 1955.” The same postcard makes an appearance in a book about Minnesota restaurants; no additional detail. But! eBay has a match, and that lists the address as 1331 Hennepin. So:
Let’s take a closer look at that interior.
It looks rather crammed and inelegant to modern eyes; potted plants hanging off the wall isn’t in favor these days. Don’t know when the picture was taken, but it’s not like they had a few years before the place closed. The eBay matchbook says the Anglesey was celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Note the tiny bandstand in the corner. That might help get more info. Googling . . . ah. An image search turns up an ashtray with the name Angelsey Motor Lodge. More details at this page on old music venues:
In March 1946 owner George Sampanis was charged with discrimination by two black men who were not served at the bar. Each filed a $500 suit against Sampanis. The Minneapolis Spokesman reported that others had contacted the paper with complaints about discrimination. In 1963 it hosted folk groups like the Countrymen and the Jolly Swagmen, but Will Jones noted that the owners were looking to kick out all the rock 'n' roll and folk music. In 1970 there was the Regency Room for dining and dancing and the Surrey Room Piano Bar.
So it closed and was forgotten, except for postcards, ashtrays, and matches.
In other words, three things restaurants don't bother to make anymore.