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Saloon Says Bye to Bud

Plus Minneapolis in mourning, what's eating Grand Ave, and goodbye to a ragtime giant in today's Flyover.

5:10 PM CDT on June 19, 2023

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

The Saloon Cuts Ties with Anheuser-Busch

If you've kind of lost track of the whole Bud Light backlash, we'll forgive you—conservatives have been shitting their diapers over so many Pride-related things this year it's been hard to keep up. To quickly recap: In April, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bud Light's parent company, did a little sponsorship with trans activist and TikToker Dylan Mulvaney. Very normal behavior followed: Kid Rock shot a bunch of cases of Bud Light as anti-trans nutjobs called in threats to Budweiser plants. (As always, the situation made it very clear where the literal threat lies, and it's not with the trans community—not that you can reason with these people.) Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris reacted by trying to distance the brand from Mulvaney, causing Bud to catch heat from all sides and effectively burning two bridges at the same time. To quote John Oliver, who dug into the fiasco on Last Week Tonight: “When bigots are loudly announcing they don’t like your beer because they are bigots, that is an opportunity to say, ‘Then our beer is not for you.'"

Last month, a number of Chicago gay bars announced that they were boycotting AB InBev for failing to stand with the trans community, and on Monday, downtown Minneapolis gay bar The Saloon followed suit. Bud Light, Michelob Golden Light, Michelob Ultra—they're all being replaced with local beer from Modist Brewing Co. and Bauhaus Brew Labs in Minneapolis. “Anheuser-Busch had an opportunity to support a marginalized community in a way that few other corporations have attempted, but they abandoned that direction," Saloon owner John Moore said in a statement. "We view that as unacceptable."

Minnesota Mourns 5 Friends Killed in Lake Street Crash

Today, the Twin Cities and beyond are mourning the loss of five women–Sabiriin Ali, Sahra Gesaade, Salma Abdikadir, Sagal Hersi, and Siham Adam–who were killed Friday evening after another driver, Derrick John Thompson, struck their vehicle at Lake and 2nd Avenue while allegedly running a red light at high speeds. The women, ages 17 to 20, had just had their hands henna tattooed at Karamel Mall for a friend’s wedding. Three of the women were cousins, one was extended family, and one was a friend. Ali had recently graduated from high school, while the other four were college students. Today, a public funeral was held at Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. (Muslim funerals, also known as Janazah, are typically held within 24 hours of the deceased’s passing, though exceptions can be made in sudden instances.) “They’re having a hard time processing this,” mosque director Khalid Omar tells Sahan Journal on how the families are doing. “They have questions, but all of that will happen after the burial and once they’ve fully processed." Meanwhile Thompson, who attempted to flee the scene on foot, is currently in police custody.

Who’s Keeping Grand Ave's Corner Lots Vacant?

As you stroll along St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, you’ll notice several vacant buildings, many of which have one thing in common—they’re owned by the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. According to Frederick Melo at the Pioneer Press, some in St. Paul working to shore up that commercial corridor believe that this out-of-state pension fund stands in their way. “Unlike some other commercial owners willing to host seasonal vendors, pop-up shops and art collectives, the retirement system has kept some of the three-mile corridor’s largest retail areas empty rather than lower rents and negotiate with small, local businesses,” Melo writes. The story also looks at efforts to reimagine the area now that urban retail chains are largely a thing of the past. “All those Lululemons and J. Crews are not coming back, and now we’re just stuck with all these empty husks of buildings,” says management consultant Sherry Johnson, the co-chair of a neighborhood task force.

RIP Duluth Ragtime Champion Max Morath

Today in the Duluth News Tribune, Jay Gabler says goodbye to Max Morath, the ragtime performer and public television pioneer who died today at 96. In 1960, Morath created The Ragtime Era for Denver station KRMA. The show was a mix of entertainment and history that spread throughout the country and, according to Gabler, “proved pivotal in shaping the emerging form of what would become known as public television.” As one of ragtime's biggest proponents in the postwar U.S., Morath toured regularly, with his performances offering historical perspective on the music. Morath had retired to northern Minnesota in 1993.

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