Owners didn't advertise when the Original Pancake House in Plymouth would open back up.
They didn't have to.
"I have been stalking this place," said regular Debra Malinsky. "I was devastated when they closed. I said 'how can you take away my kitchen? This is where I have breakfast.'"
The restaurant closed in Wayzata last summer when the area was rezoned. Owners decided to reopen a few miles away in Plymouth at the intersection of Highway 101 and County Road 6.
During the closing, owners have been updating their clientele about the reopening on Facebook and in an email. Monday night, an email went out that the restaurant would reopen with little fanfare on Tuesday morning.
"We got an email last night and I canceled plans and told the family we're going to breakfast," said Jack Graber, who brought his wife, daughter and grandson for the family favorite, apple pancakes. "Good food, good price, good people. You can't beat it."
Others, like Kristine Szczech and Valerie Johnson drove in from St. Paul for a midmorning breakfast. "I've told people in St Paul you have to make the trip," said Kristine Szczech. "Everything's homemade. You've never had better pancakes."
Owners planned a soft opening on a Tuesday morning, hoping to get all the kinks of a new place worked out by the weekend when more of the regulars will be back.
"We anticipate by the weekend we'll be really packed and we want to be prepared for that," said co-owner Mark Hunter. "It's really fun to see the restaurant after all the time we've put in, do what it was built to do."
Owners kept most of the menu the same and worked to develop the old Pizza Hut space in a strip mall into an atmosphere that resembled the Wayzata location. They relocated much of the decor, designed an 'upper room' like the old location, and even had the same person build the fireplace like the old location. As much as 80 percent of the staff is also back.
"I think for a lot of people who have grown up for 20 years in Wayzata, it's become part of their upbringing," said Ken Savik, one of the owners. "Now we can get it back on track."
The new restaurant is larger than the old one by almost 20 percent and they hope to be able to serve as many as 130 people at a time. During the first morning of opening, people circled the parking lot and even danced after seeing their favorite breakfast spot was back open.
"It's like being home," said Debra Malinsky, who is already speculating on when she'll be back. "Probably tomorrow, I'm not sure...maybe this afternoon."
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Tuesday, March 06, 2012