114 Sixth Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Richards-Treat Cafeteria

Richards-Treat Cafeteria in 1944
Lenore Richards and Nola Treat 1944
Address: 114 Sixth Street S
Neighborhood/s: Downtown, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year razed: 1957
Historic Function: Business
Historic Function: Cafeteria and hotel
Notes: Richards-Treat Cafeteria, 1924-1957
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114 Sixth Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Richards Treat Inc., consisting of a cafeteria and adjoining bakeshop, located at 114 South Sixth Street in Minneapolis, and nearby coffee shop, located at 188 Northwestern National Bank Building, was owned and managed by two remarkable women, Nola Treat and Lenore Richards. They opened for business in November 1924 and for almost 33 years followed their motto of serving "Quality food for Quality Folk." Their establishment was ranked, for a time, as one of the ten best dining places in the United States and one of the two best cafeterias. At its height Richards Treat had five dining rooms that seated 300 people and served an average of 3,000 people per day.

Richards and Treat were both professors of home economics at the University of Minnesota and wrote a number of books on restaurant recipes and management. They opened the restaurant to see if their management principles and recipes would work in the real world. The site they selected in downtown Minneapolis had plenty of competition and many felt the two women would not last more than a few months in the competitive restaurant business. But soon their good food and reasonable prices won many regular customers and Richards Treat became a training ground for young college women majoring in home economics who could gain experience in all areas of the restaurant trade before graduation. In fact for the first ten years or so Richards Treat had only female employees and at its height never had more than eight to ten men (mainly busboys) among its 80 employees.

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