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Fire at the Nook: "It's Totaled"

I think this is the most gawdawful restaurant news you could ever give me. Even if it rebuilds/is repaired, it will never be the same. Devastating.

According to Twitter, Kopplin's was unaffected.

Edit to note: I am just going off of the Strib story re: "It's Totaled" That was a quote from one of the owners. I haven't seen photos...hoping it's not really totaled.

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  1. That's really sad. Heard about it on NPR this morning. Sounds like the fire crews have had a really hard time fighting multiple fires after this snowstorm, and that's led to more damage than otherwise would be. Very sad.

      1. Although BDP is my favorite lucy joint, I had my first JL (Paul Molitor) at The Nook in 2003. Bummer for sure but thankfully they have Shamrocks on W. 7th during the rebuild.

        1. I saw a report on WCCO-TV this morning. They said it sounded like it was just a kitchen fire and it wasn't too serious...let's hope so.

          1. Oh no! I'm glad no one was hurt. I really hope they can re-open again soon. Those guys put their hearts into that place.


            1. If they think it'll only take a month or 2 to rebuild, I don't think it's really totaled. At least I hope it's not. :( Very very sad.

              1. This is depressing! I think I had my last burger at the Nook before leaving the Twin Cities last year. I hope they're able to rebuild.

                1. Wasn't their secret the original grill that had been used for eons? Older and more well-used than the one at Shamrock.

                  DQ -- was it you that reported this to us? I know you think the Nook burger was way better than the Shamrock burger.

                  Think a well-used grill could survive a kitchen fire? Without losing its special magic?

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: karykat

                    Yes, that was me who claimed that. I hope the griddle can survive the fire. All of their memoribilia must be gone for good, but I hope the griddle is undamaged. :(


                    1. re: karykat

                      I just saw the photo on Star Trib...sickening.

                      I've seen a lot of places post-fires and I wouldn't think any of the equipment could be salvaged. Perhaps the griddle top itself with a lot of work. For me, I don't think there was anything magical about the grill...it was more the overall place that gave it the special quality that I will miss (just my opinion...not meaning to start a Nook vs. Shamrocks debate).

                      1. re: MSPD

                        Oh, those photos are really sad. I agree--they give me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

                        It does look like some of the stuff on the wall survived, although, maybe it's smoke and water damaged. Mancini's swim trunks are gone though.

                        The worst part, aside from all of the broken glass (is that what that is?) on the bar is the look of sadness and exhaustion on their faces.

                        I wonder if they'll keep the bowling alley open while they rebuild? If they do, it might be nice to go, have a drink (and a pizza or hot dog, which I think are the only food items they serve down there), and support them.

                        Does it seem like there have been more kitchen fires than usual these days? Or am I just imagining it? Yarusso's, Heidi's/Blackbird, the Nook... The good news is that Yarusso's and Blackbird, for sure, seem to have bounced back, though, not without some heartache, I'm sure. Hopefully the Nook can, too.

                        All very sad.


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Let us all know, everyone, if you hear if/when the bowling alley will be open. I agree it would be good to support them. Maybe bowl a few lanes and have a hot dog.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            don't forget the horrifically tragic fire at mcmahon's!

                            i am very very sad to see this news. those poor guys.

                            1. re: soupkitten

                              That was the worst of all, of course, because of the loss of life. I had a vague feeling I was missing something but just couldn't put my finger on it.

                              V. sad. I hope these guys get back on their feet.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                i hadn't even heard that yrusso's had a fire, glad to hear they are bouncing back. restaurant hood vents can be very dangerous fire hazards if they are not cleaned regularly. when the economy is bad i always wonder about these fires at small independent places--and wonder if the owners were trying to stretch out the service schedule one or two months too long, and their hoods caught fire. of course it could also be wiring or any other unfortunate cause of fire. heidi's/blackbird was a hood fire for sure. the mcmahon's fire was thought to be grease trapped in an older venting system-- though the owner of the establishment had had the hood vents professionally cleaned 2 weeks prior to the tragic fire.

                          2. re: MSPD

                            Just a sad day for all of St. Paul.

                            MSPD, I have to disagree with you regarding the grill. Grills get seasoned over time by the food that gets cooked on them. That seasoning imparts flavor. You just can't re-create the tens of thousands (and it may be hundreds of thousands) of hamburgers that cooked on that grill. It does make a difference in the finished product and I am with TDQ in that there was a difference in taste between the Nook and Shamrock's. I believe the decades-seasoned grill at the Nook made it the best burger in town. And it has really put a damper on my day to realize it is likely gone. At least I got there a couple of weeks ago for one last Supreme meal.

                            I wish them the best in their rebuild.

                            1. re: Db Cooper

                              Db Cooper, I too, was fortunate enough to have paid a recent visit to the Nook. I am so grateful, in hindsight, that I had a chance to one last (for now, hopefully, fingers crossed) my Molitor burger and those awesome fries!


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Oh, man...my heart goes out to Casper and Runyon after looking at those photos. I think we need a revival of 'Fork the Fire' for the Nook. Who's with me?

                        2. What a loss for the Saint Paul community. The Nook has been my go to place for burgers, great fries and good dark beers. I'll miss the Nook until its revival. What is fork on the fire?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: docfood

                            Fork the Fire was organized by local restaurants after the Heidi's/Blackbird fire. They picked a specific day where they all donated a portion of their sales to offset the losses to the owners.

                            1. re: MrStPaul

                              Looks like the Groveland Tap is doing something similar:


                              Groveland Tap
                              1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                          2. Awful. I was in there not too weeks ago, sitting at the bar while the entire restaurant was jam packed. I hope they can manage to rebuild.