The Golden Fox was located in Brooklyn Park. It didn’t move, but its address often did. And those multiple addresses often overlapped!
February 1969 to ? (used in event calendar ads) : 71 1/2 Ave. N. and Highway 152
April 1969 to February 1970: 73rd and Osseo Road
7300 Brooklyn Blvd.: July 1971 – December 1977. This became the address of Park Center High School.
February 1972 to April 1979: 7355 Regent Ave No.
An ad dated February 2, 1969, said that Jim Corniea and Dwight Olson did an outstanding job getting the Golden Fox ready for the grand opening, which saw 1,000 guests.
The facility had a main dining room, two cocktail lounges, and four lower banquet rooms. Apparently a dance band was in one of these rooms.
On April 21, 1969, Will Jones reported on his visit to the Suburban venue , and reported that Jim Corniea was the owner, and he and some of the staff had owned the Office, a club in Downtown Minneapolis.
By that time, Jimmy Bowman was playing piano in the cocktail lounge. Or the piano bar. Were the one and the same? Jimmy told Will,
It’s a whole new crowd out here in the country. Most of them never got downtown to see me. I don’t think some of them have ever been downtown. I’m doing a lot of the same stuff I was doing when I started at Freddie’s 11 years ago, and it’s all new to them. And the old customers keep asking for it.
And he keeps doing it: the Calypso numbers, and the hipster versions of such historic events as Chris Columbus’s affair with that groovy chick, Isabella.
A 1969 ad shows the Jimmy Bowman Duo (with Duffy Goodlowe) in the lounge. In January 1970, Bowman issued an album called “Jimmy Bowman Swings at the Golden Fox,” although it was recorded at UA Recording, 2541 Nicollet.
Ownership soon changed, and by at least November 1969 the proprietors were Rudy and Marvelle Peterson. Weekly ads had messages signed by “Rudy.”
On February 28, 1971, Peterson announced that he was taking on a partner because his main occupation was real estate development. Instead, he sold the business to John Muchulas and John Boosalis. The new owners were announced in an ad dated September 19, 1971. The chef and menu were changed, and the restaurant was opened up on Sundays.
DAVID CARROLL AS ELVIS
The premiere Elvis impersonator in the Twin Cities was David Carroll, and it appears that he began his longstanding gig at the Golden Fox in about March 1972. (Five years before the real Elvis made his final Aloha..) He called his act David Carroll and the Magic Touch with his Tribute to Elvis.
Below is an odd, handmade ad, seemingly a one-off.
On July 27, 1975, the Golden Fox, American Legion Post 630, and Gordon’s Supper Club served alcohol to Richard Ronnei, who was already visibly drunk, in violation of the Dram Shop Law. Ronnei was then in a hit-and-run accident that killed David and Patricia Dristel, leaving their two children orphans. Police found Ronnei, and he did time in the Workhouse. The three bars were required to pay a settlement to the children, to become available to them when they became 18.
On November 26, 1975, the Star’s Jon Bream went bar hopping in suburbia and included the Golden Fox in his travels. He said the restaurant
has an unpretentiously classy bar with a warm atmosphere. The L-shaped barroom, with an elevated dance floor at the corner of the L, has plush booths and red carpeting on walls decorated with tacky, gold-gilded shields.
On weekend nights the Golden Fox bar is crowded with stylish, self-conscious, seemingly monied white-collar suburbanites in their 20s. There are couples and unaccompanied people – some eyeing company – but the Golden Fox does not have a pickup bar atmosphere.
The band plays creative, contemporary, not-too-loud rock and the dancers respond with enthusiasm and excitement.
A mixed drink in a lowball glass costs $1.20 and was the tastiest drink at the bars listed in the area.
The last classified ad for help at the Golden Fox appears to be dated April 1979.
In August 1979, a Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant opened in its place.