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State Fair’s 80-Year-Old Dining Hall Will Become a New Pronto Pup Home

Where one icon exists, another steps up to take its place

One fair tradition ends, but another will rise in its place
Minnesota State Fair/Facebook

The Robbinsdale Order of the Eastern Star has made the decision not to carry on its 80 tradition of operating a dining hall at 1315 Underwood Street inside the Minnesota State Fair. While it’s an end of an era, Fair fans can take comfort that at least the building won’t go away and there will still be food to be found inside. Gregg Karnis, who owns the wildly popular Pronto Pup concessions has purchased the building.

The front area will become a new Pronto Pup stand and the back will become an open air production area, allowing fairgoers to watch the dipped dogs get made.

Pronto Pups are similar, but importantly different from what the rest of the world might call a corn dog. A fluffier, slightly sweeter batter is used to encase the be-sticked tubed meats before before taking a bath in a deep fryer.

The Minnesota State Fair has been a tradition for almost as long as Minnesota has been a state. It began has an agricultural event and has since morphed into one of the largest state fairs in the country (second only to Texas, where it’s just insisted they do everything bigger.) In the last century, the way people dine at the fair has changed dramatically. What was once a few buildings overseen by mostly church congregations, feeding families burgers, pancakes and coffee in a sit down fashion, has given way to transportable, mostly impaled on wooden stick foods.

The 2018 Minnesota State Fair kicks off August 23 and runs through September 3.

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

1265 Snelling Ave N, Falcon Heights, MN 55108 (651) 288-4400 Visit Website