The Piccadilly in Mahtomedi grew out of humble beginnings as a small restaurant just outside the gates of Wildwood Amusement Park. In 1914, Beulah Johnson opened her lunch counter in the building she had built, located at what is now known as 92 Mahtomedi Avenue. As local lore proclaims, the establishment took on the Piccadilly moniker after a particularly delectable sandwich (some sources say it was a pie) of the same name.
In 1940, Art and Alice Cheasick purchased the business and ran it in the same location until a group of Dellwood residents convinced them to build a supper club. The group invested and became stockholders in the business until the Cheasicks bought them out one by one. The new Piccadilly opened with all the modern conveniences in 1952, just south of the original site.
In 1969, Tom and Winnie Stanek decided they wanted to return to their home state of Minnesota and venture into the supper club business. Later that year, the Staneks purchased the Piccadilly, and Art Cheasick stayed on for three months as a mentor to Tom.
Within just a few years, the building was expanded with the party room and additional dining space in the back, and a new sign declaring Piccadilly “The House of Prime Rib.”
Reaching far and wide, “The Pic” was well known as the place to go for prime rib, and many a hungry diner was pleased to see the carving-cart wheel their way during dinner. The end of an era came on New Year’s Eve 2005, when the last guests were served.
For more information on the history of Piccadilly, visit the website here, or call 651.407.5327.
Sara Markoe Hanson is the executive director of the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society. She will be sharing history thoughts monthly.