After overwhelming response to plea for help, St. Paul restaurant gives back

The Nook, in St. Paul, put out a plea for help and the community delivered.

After putting out a plea for help, a St. Paul restaurant is now hoping to give back.

The pandemic and shutdowns have hammered neighborhood favorites like The Nook, which reports business is off 70 percent so far this year.

Co-owner Mike Runyon put out a plea for help to Gov. Tim Walz two weeks ago and begged for help from the community. It did.

“So, we’ve had some really nice donations that have come in,” said Runyon. “Amounts that are just unheard of.”

He posted on Facebook this week that he wanted to turn the donations into meals for those in need. He said the donations would be no questions asked.

“It seems like every day we have someone calling up and read about our post and says, hey, love what you’re doing and we want to give and in-kind donation to the whole thing,” Runyon added. “And the response, we are getting people who are calling up and saying, I am hungry, I do need some food.”

He’s not the only one giving back, either. He credits chef Brian Ingram at the Hope Breakfast Bar for leading the way. He recently told FOX 9 how customers can recommend families who need a meal.

“So, we’ve been able to help a brunch of families over the past year with that,” said Ingram. “Everybody needs just a glimmer. Just somebody that wants to serve. He’s being a great representative of it.”

At The Nook, they’re cooking their own hope served with the same gratitude that’s been on the menu since 1938, all at the corner of memories and comfort.