River Room restaurant serves its last lunch

The River Room in 1940
A postcard showing the River Room restaurant in 1940, in Schuneman's Department Store in downtown St. Paul. Dayton's bought the Schuneman's building in the 1950s and kept the River Room. The store, now owned by Macy's, is closing, and the River Room served its last patrons today.
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

The River Room restaurant in the Macy's downtown St. Paul store served its last patron this afternoon, ending decades of tradition. The restaurant is closing along with the Macy's store itself, which will be shuttered by the end of March.

The River Room restaurant originally opened in the Schueneman's department store, but later moved to Dayton's when the company built a store nearby.

In recent years, the store became a Marshall Field's and then Macy's, but the River Room remained. It's been a traditional lunch spot for downtown workers and shoppers for decades, and is well known for its popovers.

Becky Cline and her sister, both of St. Paul, had reservations for one of the last lunches.

"It was a little melancholy," she said. "People were celebratory and telling stories about their family traditions and people coming here for decades. But it was a little sad, and to know that all these workers had been here for decades, and today was their last day."

Macy's announced in January that would close the St. Paul location, ending the 50-year presence of the department store in downtown.

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