8-year-old Dylan Spoering's second venture, Pirate Restaurant, launched this weekend

Emily Eveland

Readers may remember eight-year-old Dylan Spoering from the piano recital he held in his south Minneapolis front porch on a rainy day in July. Musician Tommy Rehbein (Farewell Continental, International Karate, Party House) caught wind of his young neighbor's event and sent out a Facebook invite, attracting hundreds of residents and members of the local media who stood beneath umbrellas, cheering on young Spoering.

On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., Spoering made his triumphant return to the DIY scene with his "Pirate Restaurant." He recruited kids from around his neighborhood to be servers, cashiers, and food runners. Spoering's own name tag read "Dylan the boss."

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Emily Eveland

By the time Hot Dish arrived, the backyard was bustling. Unfortunately, the two sandwiches on the menu had been crossed out. Had they already run out of supplies? Nope. The city told them they couldn't sell sandwiches. Fortunately, our young server informed us that sandwiches were indeed still available, but they had to act as though they weren't.

Emily Eveland


The Pirate Restaurant offered bologna sandwiches, sun-butter sandwiches, Oreos, chips, watermelon, lemonade, coffee, milk, and popsicles. We opted for the $3.75 meal deal, which came with a sandwich, chips or watermelon, a dessert, and a drink.

Yes, this cash register is made from Legos.

While customers dined, Spoering serenaded them with a few songs on his keyboard, which was set up in the front yard with a tip jar placed nearby. We caught up with Spoering in between sets and stints in the kitchen and asked him a few questions about his latest endeavor.

Hot Dish: Where did you come up with the idea for your pirate restaurant?

Spoering: I just woke up one day and said, "Hey daddy, can I have a restaurant?"

What was the planning process like?

We talked about it with my mom, dad, and me and then we all figured it out and then we said, um, yeah, my friends are gonna help and then my friends knew about it and then we would have the jobs and now the restaurant is going on.

Did you have a meeting to decide who would do what?

Kind of. Kind of not. I mean, kind of.

How did you decide what you wanted to serve?

Um, I just told my dad all of the list of things I wanted to serve and then I copied that at Kinko's.


How did you advertise it?

I just gave it out to people on the street.

Are these your favorite foods?

[He points to chips, Oreos, and lemonade]

We heard the city came in and tried to shut you guys down. Is that true?

They said we couldn't have sandwiches, but we are having sandwiches, and we are doing this. Already Fox 9 came in. They interviewed me, too. There's a customer. Can I go?

No problem.

Stay tuned for young Spoering's next enterprise.

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Erin Sayer
Erin Sayer

This family are my neighbors. I always call the dad 'The Best Dad Ever' because he's always out doing things with the kids. They adopted 2 kids from Africa as well and it's fun watching them grow.

Maija Boitman McKeown
Maija Boitman McKeown

Aric McKeown he seems like a young Nathan Fielder - "we have sandwiches but have to act like we don't"


@jkholm wow! No, somehow was not on my radar. (Probably because pirates don't have radar...)

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

I was gonna say avoid this place. But it's got a piano bar.


Okay, the "concert" was sort of cute but this "restaurant" thing is wrong and stupid.

For all we know the kid puts boogers in the "sandwiches" and the "mayo" is phlegm.

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

The state will go after him for tax evasion

Justin Holmes
Justin Holmes

What's more pirate than ignoring the health inspector on the sandwiches? Nothing. Nothing is more pirate


@mnegge Time for some pirate-related news alerts, apparently. :)

MNjoe topcommenter

He's a pirate - he don't have to pay no stinkin' taxes!


@ryanstrandjord @HamburgerLady

Yes well perhaps some of your favorite restaurants do so, but that's why they have licenses and insurance for when you get salmonella. 

But maybe this kid can start a backyard clinic too! You can have lots of fun!

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