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What’s Next for the 19 Bar?

Plus Dean Phillips whines, Mac-Grovelanders fight with UST, and the bandshell is feeling blue in today's Flyover news roundup.

Em Cassel

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

The 411 on the 19 Bar

"What will become of the 19 Bar?" was a big topic of discussion even before the late March fire that more or less destroyed the longstanding queer dive. Six years ago, for City Pages, Hannah Jones reported on a rumor that the Minneapolis bar was going to close. It was established in 1952; its Loring Park neighborhood had been changing for a long time. The rumor made sense, but luckily it had no basis in fact, longtime owner Gary Hallberg told CP. He owned the business and the property, and had no plans to sell.

After the fire, however, the 19's future seems more uncertain than ever. "The 19 Bar was a thriving remnant of a fast-changing Minneapolis neighborhood. Will it survive?" Bill Lindeke asks this week in MinnPost. Lindeke takes readers on a tour of the 19's history—the redlining it dodged, the "neighborhood improvement" projects it fought against—only to end up here, scorched by a freak fire caused by a garbage truck colliding with a utility pole. But it's not all bleak, and Lindeke also looks at other local bars like The Nook that have come back after fires. And it sounds like the 19 will come back, if this adorable Facebook post from last week is any indication:

Overwhelmed is the first word that comes to mind right now. Apparently we have a Facebook page, and being 72 years old…we’re still trying to figure out wtf Facebook is. Is it a book? Is it a face? Can they see me right now?

But in all seriousness, we are so incredibly overwhelmed with gratitude and so thankful for the events at The Walker Art Center and The Saloon MN recently. The staff and volunteers at both venues created a night that not only supported our employees, but created a night that really showed how our community can come together and BE a community.

Thank you all for not only showing how much our staff means to you, but how much The 19 means to so many people. You have made us feel safe during this time, and we will be back to continue making a safe space for you.

Now how do I hit send?

Someone's in Dean-ial

Elsewhere in MinnPost, Ana Radelat has the first exit interview we've seen with Dean Phillips regarding his confusing, embarrassing, and unsurprisingly doomed presidential campaign. In a whiny conversation (our words, not Radelat's), Phillips casts blame everywhere but inward, a confusing choice for a man whose own friend, DFL Chairman Ken Martin, said at the start of his White House run, “As far as I can tell, there’s no one in Minnesota, including in his own district, that’s excited about the prospect of him running for president."

"He blames the national political parties, the media and even 'apathetic' voters for his failure to succeed as a modern day Paul Revere, warning his party of the dangers of allowing an aging Biden to once again take on Donald Trump," Radelat writes. (Here we must remind you that one in five Dems in his home state voted uncommitted in the primary, while Phillips took just 8% of the vote.) Phillips adds that while the U.S. has no state media, "we have some degree of party-controlled media," and says he was surprised by the strength of the two-party system, a factor that should surprise no one who's taken high school civics or, you know, reads the news.

“He should have learned the degree of polarization and the strength of party politics after a couple of terms in Congress,” David Schultz, a political science professor at Hamline University, tells Radelat. “If he doesn’t understand why he failed and why he’s a pariah, he’s even more naïve than we believed.”

Putting the UST in 'Just Say No'

The people of Mac-Groveland are not stoked about the University of St. Thomas' plans to build a new 5,500-seat arena in their St. Paul neighborhood. Axios's Kyle Stokes reports on the growing tension between the university, which needs a bigger space to accommodate its move to Division I athletics, and folks who live nearby, who want to know, "Um, where are those 5,500 people going to park?" Perhaps you've seen the "JUST Say No" signs that have popped up in seemingly every yard near campus?

The neighborhood group, Advocates for Responsible Development (ARD), is petitioning the Minnesota Court of Appeals because it wants the city to reassess the environmental risks game night congestion might cause. "St. Thomas is notorious for their lack of parking," ARD spokesperson Donn Waage told Axios. "This is just going to make it much, much worse." UST says it's NBD: "The arena will seat a maximum of approximately 4,000 for hockey and 5,500 for basketball. We currently work with SPPD on traffic management for home football games, where we experience attendance between 4,000-5,000 people," according to the college's Lee and Penny Anderson Arena website.

Let's Admire the New Bandshell Paint Job

I'll admit it—all the hubbub about plans for the Lake Harriet Bandshell's new blue paint job last year left me feeling kind of ho-hum. "OK, so you're doing routine maintenance? That don't impress-a me much," etc. But! Having passed the recently repainted structures on the way to Picnic last week, I have no choice but admit: It looks stunning. See for yourself in the drone photos below, courtesy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on Facebook:

Lake Harriet Bandshell Construction progress as of March 21, 2024
Lake Harriet Bandshell Construction progress as of March 21, 2024
Lake Harriet Bandshell Construction progress as of March 21, 2024
Lake Harriet Bandshell Construction progress as of March 21, 2024

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