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Minnesota's last Embers location closes its doors

Customers waited for hours to say goodbye to the restaurant before it closed.
Credit: Hanna Conway, KARE
The restaurant on its last day of operation.

After serving customers for decades, Ricky’s Embers in Fridley permanently closed its doors on Sunday.

The closure marks the end of Embers restaurants, which started back in 1956. The local restaurants were known for their “Emerberger Royal” burger, pancakes and coffee cake.

Since the announcement of the closure a few weeks ago, people have been waiting over an hour to dine inside and say their goodbyes. One of those people who stopped by on Sunday to say goodbye was Adam Kristal, whose father was a co-founder of Embers. Kristal said he hadn’t seen the restaurant this busy since the early ‘80s.

“All I could think of was back in the early ‘80s we used to have a special. It was $1.99 double plate special,” Kristal said.

Joe Rickenbach is the owner of Ricky’s Embers and says a developer bought the property and plans on tearing down the building... but he said this may not be the end for Embers.

“I got my son Sam in there and he’s toyed around with opening another one, another location. So, that’s possible... We’re just going to take it day by day,” Rickenbach said.

Rickenbach says a number of Embers employees have already found other positions, and for those that haven’t, they will help them out anyway they can.