Not to put too fine an edge on things, but it sucked when St. Paul's beloved Muddy Pig abruptly closed after 16 years in business.
The gastropub with an impeccable beer selection had been an inexplicable treasure, holding down the busy corner of Selby and Dale. The Pig offered cozy nooks, a supremely human staff, and dark, polished wood waiting to catch its patrons.
Watching 162 N. Dale Street sit vacant for the past almost-two years had felt yucky and eerie, too.
…But even that felt better than learning that the former Pig has become the St. Paul field office for Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign.
You know what they say about keeping politics (and religion) out of bars? Those big, floor-to-ceiling windows along Dale are now lined with signs reading I LIKE MIKE and Bloomberg 2020.
Your author was accidentally invited inside the belly of this beast (and god was it awkward), where a handful of campaign staffers and volunteers huddled around a folding table. After explaining their open-door policy, I told them who I was and they, in turn, explained they couldn't talk to the media, and more or less showed me the door after directing me to Michael Schultz, state director of Bloomberg's campaign.
City Pages reached out to Schultz with questions about when and under what terms they acquired the former Muddy Pig. He was busy when we called, and asked that our questions be submitted in writing. Of course, we did so, relishing the opportunity. Among others, we asked if the campaign will be offering food and drink as part of its open-door policy, "as a little neighborhood welcome gift? Big shoes to fill and whatnot…"
Schultz remained mum on all matters fiscal and refreshment, responding only to say that, "We’ve had the space since early January."
During our brief visit, we did find that a lone trace of the old Muddy Pig perseveres despite current circumstances, which include whitewashed walls and an air of transience that certainly doesn't correspond with real estate listings' three-year minimum lease requirement. Though the bar may be decimated—along with the watering hole's sacred sense of hospitality—above the threshold between rooms, a lone pig still guards the place like a wise sentinel left over from better days.
City Pages also reached out to a commercial real estate agent who's still, theoretically, offering showings of the space; he, too, was not immediately available for comment.