It is already old news. Minnesota, and much of the upper Midwest, is really in the deep freeze. With the backyard thermometer reading -20 (Fahrenheit), I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to visit The North Pole – restaurant, that is, in Newport, MN, a few miles outside of St. Paul.
Mary North and her husband David (pharmacist/ owner of the attached drugstore) are proud to be the third generation of Norths to operate the family business– in the present location since 1952. Once a general pharmacy with soda fountain for patrons, the restaurant business became an entity in its own right in 1958. The North’s son Brian serves as Manager, while daughter Tricia is a pharmacist, working with her dad.
The North Pole is a community hub; a place for regulars to meet and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Mary knows many by name– and the frequency with which they visit.
This morning, budding novelist, Dawn Plessel, was having breakfast with her husband and son. “I often come here to work on my book…it is half-way done!”
My friend Holly, who was with me, shared that places like The North Pole are central to the life of small towns and communities. Growing up in the rural Midwest, she recalled a café that was the heartbeat of her hometown. “Everybody watched out for each other…”