No matter how cold it gets outside, the atmosphere inside this small café is lively, warm. Sometimes you have to stand a little while and wait for a booth or a seat at the U shaped counter at Darcy’s. That’s after you find a parking spot in the busy lot that also serves the adjacent barber shop.

This winter with its colder than cold winter days, some customers have been calling ahead and picking up food for lunch or pie for mid-day.

For me, Darcy’s is the place to gather for breakfast when there are visitors in town. The menu ranges from breakfast with a long list of omelets. And beyond, there are soup and lunch suggestions including burgers and sandwiches.

The restaurant also takes call in orders for pies that will be ready the next day.

Breakfast and brunch make up a serious business in this small north end café. The place was started years ago by the late Darcy Fonder. And from the outset it was a gathering spot for UND athletes a well as their fans. The kind of people who like to banter back and forth over good, every day food. There are no pretenses at Darcy’s, just conversation often so loud it spreads from the booths to the U-shaped counter and through the open windows to the small kitchen.

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There’s chili at $3.99 a bowl. And along with a soup of the day, Darcy’s has onion rings and a chef salad along with a garden salad. The omelets range from cheese to one called The Polka with ham and sauerkraut for $11.99.

With Tim Hajicek as owner, the restaurant is operated by Michelle Hajicek. She says the business stays steady with Friday and Saturday mornings drawing hungry weekend customers.

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Darcy’s Café

1015 N. Washington St.

Grand Forks, N.D. 58203

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday;

7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday;

7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Seating: 40

Pay: Cash, checks ,credit cards

Takeout orders: 701-775-4050

Report card: Predictable homestyle breakfast to lunch time choices. Quick service. Friendly ambience.