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Frey Finds No Love in East Phillips

Plus GMA comes to MN to eat pizza, Mike Pence comes to MN to spread bigotry, and lots of restaurant news in today's Flyover.

4:32 PM CST on February 15, 2023

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Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

MMIR Rally Boos Unwanted Guest 

It’s been a while since Jacob Frey got a good public shaming, but when our Strong Mayor showed up to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives rally and march on Tuesday, he got a less than warm welcome. According to MPR’s Sam Stroozas, “Little Earth resident Nicole Perez said: ‘You're here for yourself. You're going to take pictures then pollute us? You're not welcomed here.” A video circulating on Twitter also shows Frey getting an extended earful from Perez. The mayor was eventually booed out of the event.

Makes sense that East Phillips would not be a friendly neighborhood for Frey to drop in at. Many in the area are still angry that the city, with Frey's support, has chosen to demolish the Roof Depot and build an expanded public works facility. The area is a SuperFund site, and critics say the demolition will lead to increased pollution in the neighborhood. MPR News has a good, detailed story about the rally itself, complete with some awful stats: In any month from 2011 to 2020, there were 27 to 54 Indigenous women missing in Minnesota, and though Indigenous women and girls are 1 percent of the state population, they represent 15 percent of female missing persons cases.

Wrecktangled 'Em

Good afternoon Racket readers—did you know Good Morning America was in town today? It's true: In their quest to find the best pizza in the nation with their United States of Pizza competition, the GMA gang is visiting five cities, where two pizzerias will face off against one another before heading to New York City for a grand finale. Is this a sound method for finding the best pies in America? Not really! But we're still happy for the folks at Red Wagon Pizza and Wrecktangle Pizza, who squared off at Malcolm Yards Market today in hopes of taking home the "Golden Pizza Cutter." Chefs Justin Sutherland and Ann Kim joined local anchor Chris Egert in casting their votes, and ultimately Wrecktangle's breakfast pizza unanimously bested Red Wagon's bánh mì-inspired pie. You can watch 'em duke it out below.

Mike Pence Was in Town Today to Give a Transphobic Speech

When he’s not trying to dodge his January 6 subpoena or demurring over whether or not he’ll run for President, Mike Pence is busy fighting against trans inclusivity in schools. As the founder of Advancing American Freedom, the former VP seeks to protect the rights of paranoid bigots by limiting the rights of trans kids and teens. This morning, Pence was in town to give a speech at the Minneapolis Club in support of Parents Defending Education vs. Linn-Mar Community School District, a lawsuit attempting to kill a new school policy that would protect trans kids’ identities, allow trans teenagers to find support without parental involvement, and explicitly permit teachers to ask and use students’ correct pronouns. The case is being heard at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul.

There were also rumors that Pence would announce his presidential candidacy during his stop. That didn’t happen. Also, no one cares. "Vice President Pence will never be anything more than Donald Trump’s most embarrassing lapdog,” Minnesota DFL chairman Ken Martin aptly said in a statement. Pence is not the only politician recently spotted barfing out transphobic statements around Minnesota. On his most recent podcast, Rep. Walter Hudson (R-Albertville) went off on a new bill that would protect doctors who provide gender affirming care to out-of-state patients, referring to Democrats as "feral" creatures who are trying to "steal children from other states so they can subject them to their corruption and perversion."

Café Cerés Taking Over Old Penny's Coffee; Mother Clucker’s Pizza to Roost in Old Nicollet Diner Diner Space

Earlier this month, when we reported on U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips being sued for wage theft by an ex-Penny's Coffee manager, we asked the Phillips-owned coffee chain whether its shuttered downtown Minneapolis café would ever reopen. Crickets. On Tuesday, a friendly Racket tipster provided the answer: No! That's because Café Cerés is adding its new third location at 100 Washington Ave. and opening up February 21, according to an announcement from the building's owner. "Start your day with a pastry from James Beard nominated chef Shawn McKenzie," it implores tenants. Cerés actually took over an old Penny's location for its flagship Linden Hills café in 2020, and it operates another shop in the Armatage neighborhood of south Minneapolis. The only remaining Penny's in Wayzata closed “until further notice” last fall, but, considering the company's website no longer exists, don't expect that notice to come.

In other food news: The Nicollet Diner/Roxy's Cabaret/Muffin Top Café group has a new family member, and its name alludes to a swear. "Our neighborhood bar specializes in late-night pizza, broasted chicken, unique craft cocktails, and Minnesota tap beer," according to Mother Clucker's Pizza, whose new sign at 1428 Nicollet Ave. and website was spotted by reader Taylor Dahlin. No word yet on an opening date; The Nicollet Diner moved from the future Clucker HQ to its new home at 1333 Nicollet Mall last summer.

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