Last Band Box diner likely saved by contributors

Photo: Band Box via GoFundMe.
Minneapolis’ Band Box diner is down to its last grill burner, so it’s turning to crowdfunding to stay in business, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reports.

Owner Brad Ptacek says he’s out of capital and options to keep the historic diner operating. There are no parts available to fix the old grill.

“I’m running out of aces in the hole so I thought, why not?” he said.

He’s set up a $5,000 GoFundMe drive to save the restaurant. Contributors in just four days appear ready to blow past that.

The diner is the last of the prefabricated diners made by a silo manufacturer in Iowa at the request of the original owners, Harry and Bert Weisman, in the 1930s.

At one point, 14 prefab diners dotted Minneapolis. When the Band Box on Washington Avenue was knocked down in 1972, the one on South 10th Street in the Elliot Park neighborhood was the last one left.

  • BJ

    Hit the goal now. Was $75 shy around 8:30 this morning.

    Good investment for community, how many hundreds of thousands will the new grill produce over 5 or 10 years. How much will that trickle around the community.

    • Kassie

      Or, if you can’t afford a $5000 grill, what’s the chance your business will be around in 2 years?

      • BJ

        If you read the article he just did a bunch of repairs, using his normal capital reserves.

        Timing and luck.

        • Kassie

          I don’t think the “why” is important here. They don’t have $5000 for a new stove and were planning on closing if they didn’t raise the money. Something else will likely come along and make them close in the next two years.

          • Jack

            He got more than $5000. He got free publicity and that could drive additional traffic. I had never heard of the place myself. Just might have to check it out.

          • BJ

            Maybe. He has owned it for 15 years. Thinking with this out of the way and the other repairs he just did he will last a while longer.