Citizen Cafe first opened in the summer of 2008 when the Standish neighborhood had few dining options. Owned and operated by chef Michael and Seaen MacKay, the restaurant built a reputation on the mostly locally-sourced, straight forward food. Serving straightforward American fare with a judicious amount of flourish inside a cozy, colorful dining room, the space became a touchstone, as neighborhood bistros are sometimes wont to do, hosting meetings of concerned neighbors, active citizens or book fans over several cups of coffee or wine. The convivial dining room made for long, easy conversation. Brunch was a perfect way to start a languid weekend day.
The critics also found much to love with James Norton of Heavy Table proclaiming the pancakes, "the best this side of Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown." Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl wrote for Minnesota Monthly that, "MacKay does make a brioche bread pudding for the ages."
Sadly, the lights have gone dark and there is no definite answer on when they might be turned back on. A sign posted on the door said that the restaurant would be closed for the month of September, but since the month and sign have passed into memory. The final Facebook post on August 19th proclaimed, "Power is back on! Come get your eat on!!" after an outage the same day.
While requests for comment have gone unanswered, the website is still functioning and the social media accounts appear open. There is still flickering hope that the restaurant "for the people" will return to them.
If you have any information, please email the tipline or leave a comment below.
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- Citizen Cafe [Official Page]