Longtime Northeast landmark reopens with the help of an MCCD business loan


The 14 stools in the Ideal Café are filled with hungry customers once again, now that the landmark Northeast Minneapolis business has re-opened under new management.

Kim Robinson is the new owner of the small but popular café that first opened its doors in 1949. Earlier this year, Robinson received an MCCD business loan to help fund improvements at the Ideal, whose iconic neon sign still lights up its stretch of Central Avenue.

Kim Robinson outside Ideal Diner

The Ideal’s new owner is a familiar face for many of the Ideal’s long-time customers.  Robinson worked at the café for more than 20 years, along with her mother, Donna Stevens.

New and old patrons will find that a visit to the Ideal is like a step back into the 1940s.  Robinson has freshened up the place, but retained its distinctive pink laminate countertop.

“She looks good,” Robinson told the Star Tribune’s Rick Nelson recently, referring to the Ideal.  “She is 64 years old, and she is ready for another 50 years. “

The Ideal Café at 1314 Central Avenue is open from 6 AM to 4 PM, seven days a week.

-Iric Nathanson, MCCD Financial Resources Coordinator