A Fond Farewell to the Dinkytown McDonalds

Pour out some Hi-C Orange in memory of one of the all-time iconic spots in Minnesota – the Dinkytown McDonalds.

The Dinkytown McDonalds, or more affectionately known as DrunkDons or Club McDonalds, had been serving drunk students McDoubles well into the late hours of morning for 57 years before closing up shop Monday afternoon. It is yet another reminder that 2020 has been one big kick to the crotch and how we simply cannot have nice things. 

Anybody who has any amount of time at the University of Minnesota no doubt has multiple stories about the DrunkDons that they probably only remember partial details to. It was sort of a rite of passage at the school; you weren’t officially a student at the U of M until you did something you aren’t proud of past midnight at DrunkDons. 

The place was a typical McDonalds by day but slowly morphed into a beautiful form of chaos as the sun went down and the bars filled up in Dinkytown. It was always an adventure in that you never knew what intrepid peril awaited you once you walked down the stairs to the ever-familiar glow of McDonalds. A fight? More than likely. Somebody passed out in a booth? Good chance. More than one person projectile vomiting? You can count on it. Everybody who ever set foot in DrunkDons past bar close had at least one of those “I can never unsee that for the rest of my life” moments inside those magical doors. I have no data to back this up but I am confident that DrunkDons has the record for “most times puked in” of any McDonalds globally. 

On this sad day we must recognize the amazing men and women who braved those late-night shifts at DrunkDons. The amount of patience they exhibited while drunk 19-year olds struggled to pronounce “McNuggets” before handing over a sweaty pile of cash was nothing short of inspiring. I sincerely hope the first thing Joe Biden does when he is sworn in as President is track down anyone who worked the overnights at DrunkDons and awards them all Presidential Medals of Freedom – the highest honor a civilian can be awarded. 

DrunkDons will soon be torn down to make way for yet another generic, overpriced apartment building that only college kids that come from money will be able to afford to live in. Yes, there will be a new McDonalds going in on the ground floor of the soulless apartment building, but we all know it won’t be the same. Magical things like DrunkDons are just too beautiful and pure to ever be recreated. Much like the new Sallys that replaced the OG Sallys on the other side of campus. 

But we’ll always have the memories of DrunkDons. Or at least what remains of them. It is just too bad we are in a pandemic otherwise it would be great to all get together and shotgun a beer outside in its honor. Goodnight, sweet DrunkDons.