As Snuffy's closes iconic shop, owners eye new location in St. Paul

A St. Paul landmark is set to close in a few weeks after facing a number of financial challenges the owners could not overcome.

Snuffy’s Malt Shop has been open since 1983 but is set to close. However, there is still a glimmer of hope for loyal customers: Snuffy’s may not permanently leave St. Paul. They have their eye on a few locations nearby but families say it’ll never be the same as the original.

As word quickly spreads across St. Paul that there are only a few more weeks to enjoy a delicious, old-fashioned hamburger and malt before Snuffy’s closes their original location, loyal patrons flood into the restaurant.

Mac and Nancy McKay have been coming to this location for more than two decades. They used to bring their grandchildren when they were small. They wanted to have one last meal there with them, now all grown up. And one special memory over at the 25-cent candy machine sticks out.

“The favorite candy they wanted was a Tootsie Roll. If they got the Tootsie Roll, that was the prize, life was good.”

Recently it was getting too tough to run the iconic business. “A combination of expenses,” explains Dana Bach, VP of Marketing for Snuffy's Malt Shop. “Rent increase… ADA compliance requires extensive re-modeling at that location.”

Bach says it was too expensive to renovate the St. Paul location to make it more handicap accessible. Earlier this year, FOX 9 investigators discovered several metro small businesses were being sued for non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by a local organization, Snuffy's being one of them.

Although management at Snuffy's says it's tough to call it quits after 36 years in the Highland community, they are hopeful to re-open somewhere nearby with the same loyal following.

The last day to stop by the original Snuffy's is July 25. They will still operate locations in Edina, Minnetonka, and Bloomington as well as CHS Field and the Xcel Center.