Do you remember Embers?

Who doesn't if you were living in Sioux Falls during the 1980's and early 90's.

Embers Family Restaurant was one of the more popular restaurants to line 41st Street at that time.

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In case you weren't around for the Embers years, it was located in what is now known as David's Bridal on West 41st Street.

I caught word over the weekend that the very last Embers Family Restaurant in Minnesota closed. Ricky's Embers in Fridley, Minnesota, permanently closed its doors to the public on Sunday (March 28). Thus ending a legendary Midwest restaurant chain.

If you're not familiar with an Embers restaurant, they've been around since 1956. By the late 90's, Embers had 29 locations throughout states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas.

I don't recall the exact date the Embers location in Sioux Falls closed up shop, but I do have some very vivid memories of my time spent dining at Embers during the mid to late 80's.

Embers was a popular place for many late-night bar-goers like myself back in the day to congregate after giving Sioux Falls nightclubs like Charlie's, The Crow Bar, After Five, Dakota Territory, Gunners, Night City, Jamz, Opies, and countless others way too much of my hard-earned money.

For me, it wasn't the Embers menu so much that made it a must-stop. During that time, a greasy ham sandwich served up in a dirty ashtray would have sufficed in the inebriated state I could be found in most nights. Fortunately for the rest of Sioux Falls restaurant patrons, the quality of Embers cuisine was actually quite good.

What brought me into Embers on such a frequent basis back then was the ginormous crush I had at the time on a very attractive blonde nightshift waitress. That, and I needed some sustenance to help soak up all the Stroh's Light I had been drinking. (Do you get the impression I spent entirely too much time in bars during my youth?)

To be honest, can there be anything worse than a bunch of intoxicated DJ's pouring themselves into a booth inside a family restaurant around 2:30 on a Saturday morning as we tried to impress an attractive waitress with the vast knowledge of comedic lines we had memorized from classic movies like Caddyshack, Stripes, and Fletch?

All this was happening as the poor young woman was attempting to take our Emberger Royal orders. Talk about a tough gig, she should have received some kind of hazard pay.

To this day, I still can't believe the old "Hey, can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water-buffalo" line didn't work on her. I mean, how was she able to resist a guy who possessed all the charisma, charm, and wit as Foster Brooks displayed during all of his many drunken comedic nightclub acts?

Aah, remembering Embers!

From what I do remember, Embers was a decent place to get food during a bar rush, the rest of my memories from that time are better off being laid to rest!

For what it's worth several decades later, sorry you had to endure all that, Carmen!

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