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Last Call for Grumpy’s in Roseville

Plus a ballhawk's ban is upheld, Cargill lies to workers, and a police obsession with Billy's on Grand in today's Flyover.

the mint-green grumpy's roseville bulding, with a black classic car parked out front
Grumpy's Roseville

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

Grumplebee’s Heads to Restaurant Heaven

Doesn’t it seem like just this morning we were recommending you check out Big Kahuna 4 at Grumpy’s in Roseville this weekend? That’s because it was—and as it happens, that’ll be your very last chance to visit. Grumpy’s Bar and Grill—affectionately known by many as “Grumplebees” due to its suburban location and Applebee’s-esque size—has announced it will close for the last time on Saturday. “It is with an extremely heavy heart that we announce the closing of Grumpy’s Roseville,” their Sunday Facebook farewell begins. “Over the 14 years we’ve been here, there were plenty of near brushes with closing the doors, but thanks to our amazing team and loyal customers we managed to hang on. In the end what got us was when the folks holding your mortgage say ‘Sell or we call the note.’” Grumpy’s beloved downtown bar closed in 2018 after 20 years; the address is now the Ox-Op Apartments. Blessedly, Grumpy’s Northeast remains open.

Court: OK to Say Banned Twins Ballsnatcher Sucks

Jason Gabbert is, uh, a competitor. Unfortunately, he often competes with children. For baseballs hit into the stands at Target Field. The “ballhawk” (baseball has a name for everything) was cited for acting “in an extraordinarily unfavorable way” by the Twins, who banned him from the park for a year. Alas, Gabbert’s other chief interest, beside accumulating baseballs, is going to court. He first tried (unsuccessfully) to get the Twins ban overturned. His latest loss came in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which agreed with a lower court that the Star Tribune did not defame Gabbert by reporting on his run-ins with the Twins management. (He also sued two contributors to the letters to the editor section for defamation, which, lol.) Turns out, reporting is legal, as is saying a guy who battles kids for foul balls is a jerk. (Please do not sue us, Mr. Gabbert. We know you’d lose, but we do have lives to live over here.)

Feds: Cargill Lies to Workers

The Justice Department is on a nice little antitrust kick, looks like. Today the feds sued several large U.S. poultry producers, including beloved corporate Minnesotan citizen Cargill, for deceiving and abusing poultry workers. The suit alleges that the named companies, which account for about 90% of domestic poultry production, have conspired for years to keep down wages and benefits of workers at poultry processing plants. Cargill, famously, sucks. If they’re not getting sued for antitrust, they’re battling child labor allegations. The Wayzata foodstuff processor is the largest privately held company in the U.S. and Mighty Earth dubbed it “The Worst Company in the World” in 2019, citing its business and labor practices, its health violations (it ain’t called CargWELL for a reason), as well as the environmental devastation left in its wake. Apparently you can’t sell chicken without breaking a few eggs (laws).

Police are Allegedly Super Into Watching Billy’s on Grand

Is Billy’s on Grand a den of iniquity, or just a Black-run bar and restaurant trying to get by? That’s the current debate raging over in St. Paul, as neighbors and police look for the source of the area’s uptick in crime. Cops are concerned about the dozens of calls that have been made regarding the bar; that tally includes things like parking violations, noise complaints, and bar fights. The restaurant’s managers, Wes Spearman (formerly at Seven Steakhouse and Sushi, Bella Notte) and Chuck Gilbert (Hunan Garden Chinese), say that they’re being blamed for any crime in the neighborhood. “The bottom line is it’s a Black crowd, and that’s new to the neighborhood,” Spearman tells the Pioneer Press. The Department of Safety and Inspections is recommending a liquor license revocation, citing incidents where men were seen leaving the bar with plastic cups, failure to retrieve video for the police upon request (a camera malfunctioned), failure to allow police in after an incident (the bouncer and manager on staff were fired the next day), and lewd behavior on the patio (owners say it was just a woman sitting on a man’s lap). Billy’s has been in business for over 30 years, but a 2020 fatal shooting outside the bar may contribute to the negative associations. The current owners purchased the business shortly after, but didn’t reopen the space until eight months later.