Cedric’s restaurant seemed to have all the ingredients for success when it opened in 1959: a great location at Highway 100 and then 169 (now Vernon Avenue), white tablecloth service in the area’s wealthiest suburb, and a much beloved nationally famous owner, Cedric Adams.
The restaurant failed, many say, because people couldn’t have wine with dinner. At the time, the city of Edina was “dry” with no alcohol allowed at restaurants and no bars in the city limits. While the law didn’t affect lunch counters and casual restaurants, diners wanted a drink when they celebrated at a "fancy" restaurant like Cedric's. (Interestingly enough, Cedric had quit drinking years before and had written about his struggles with alcohol.)
I would have to do more research to find out when Cedric's closed, but longtime residents say it didn't last long. Cedric’s other business ventures in Edina were more successful: Cedrics men’s clothing store and the Biltmore Motel, just down the road from Cedric’s restaurant. And he always had his professional career to fall back on. (See blog post on broadcast career.)
This November 1959 ad announcing grand opening of Cedric’s Fine Foods offered “Orchids for the ladies – Cigars for the men. Surprises for the kiddies!”
“I’ll explain that last one – no high chairs,” Cedric wrote in a column. He said he knew the restaurant business would be demanding, “but I never realized that the demands could be so varied. The rolls are too hard. The rolls are too soft. The plates are too cold. The plates are too hot.”
Do you have photographs of dinner out at Cedric’s? Please help us document this “history-maker” in Edina.
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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