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The Triple Rock Sign (Well, Half of It) Has Left Minnesota

Plus finding a site for the 3rd Precinct, our James Beard snub, and more on the Tyeastia Green saga in today's Flyover.

4:24 PM CDT on March 29, 2023

The sign outside the Triple Rock Social Club
Ed Kohler via Flickr

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

Triple Rock’s Sign Is Headed to Vegas, Baby!

What happens to business signs after they serve their purpose? Some, like the Uptown Theatre sign, are deemed historic and receive protections. Others go up for auction where folks bid as little as $10 for them. And some, like the old Triple Rock sign, head to the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas. That’s what we learned in this 89.3 the Current article from Michaelangelo Matos on the iconic West Bank bar, restaurant, and concert venue, which closed in 2017. But don’t make your way to the ol’ Glitter Gulch just yet; the sign will most likely be hanging out in storage until further notice.

“Don’t expect that to actually get on the wall,” says Erik Funk, museum investor and member of local punk band Dillinger Four. “It’ll be in their collection. Maybe someday, if they’re doing a thing specifically on venues in the 2000s, it’ll be part of a rotating exhibit.” In the meantime, if you’re willing to travel to Lowertown, you can see the other side of the sign: Longtime Triple Rock bartender Paddy Whelan keeps his half lit and prominently displayed at the Dark Horse in St. Paul.

NCIMBY: No Cops in My Back Yard

When I (Keith) take visitors to see the defunct 3rd Precinct building, they’re always disappointed by how much of it is left standing. If it had totally been burned down and looked like an actual ruin, maybe the eyesore might be worth preserving as a monument to police hubris. Instead, it’s just another run-down building protected by security fencing. As someone named L. Snowhill says in a Google review of the building, "If they aren't going to fix it, they should start it back on fire." (Twenty-three other users agree.)

Yet soon, a new 3rd Precinct building might rise from the ashes like a phoenix that nobody asked for. “There should be a 3rd Precinct building in the 3rd Precinct,” Mayor Jacob Frey has said. To that end, the city of Minneapolis is holding “listening sessions” to determine the future of the 3rd, Jon Collins at MPR reports. (The story contains the dates, times, and sites where those are being held, as well as some unimaginative renderings of possible buildings.)

To revamp the old building would cost about $12 million and would certainly feel like a middle finger to anyone who protested the brutality of the police once stationed there. It would cost between $22 and $26 million to build something on the other suggested site, a city-owned plot at 2600 Minnehaha Ave. S. So, what do you do when no one in the community wants to live next door to the cops? Well, knowing the way the city works these days, whatever the fuck they want, regardless of community input. 

Just One MN James Beard Finalist This Year

Is this... a snub? Because it feels like a snub. OK, backing up, we'll get the good stuff out of the way: Shawn McKenzie, Café Cerés co-founder and Rustica executive chef, is a finalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker category at this year's James Beard awards. She's also *squints slightly, scans the list of nominees one last time* the only remaining Minnesota chef in the awards this year. Ann Ahmed (Khâluna), Christina Nguyen (Hai Hai), Karyn Tomlinson (Myriel), and Yia Vang (Union Hmong Kitchen) were all nominated as semifinalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category, but none made it to the next round. As the Strib notes, it's the first time in 20 years we've been unrepresented in the category's finals.

First thought? We got a big win last year, with Minneapolis's Owamni taking home Best New Restaurant, so maybe the mysterious cabal of voters thinks it's time we sit one out. Other thought? They might just not pay that close attention.

More Ex-Equity Director vs. City Drama 

What, exactly, the hell went down with February's “I Am My Ancestors Wildest Dreams Expo” to celebrate Black History History Month? Tyeastia Green, who left her job last month as executive director of Minneapolis's Division of Race, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, was accused of lying about a $3 million grant to fund the expo, an event that fell well short of expectations. Yet Green returned fire this month, issuing a 14-page memo that accused the city of a “toxic” and “anti-Black” culture. ("I am not anti-Black, but I am anti-incompetent," City Council President Andrea Jenkins told the Strib.)

And today MinnPost published new info gleaned from a secret 90-minute recording that Green took at a February 14 meeting with Minneapolis City Council leadership, Mayor Jacob Frey, and other top city officials. The back-and-forth gets pretty granular, so we encourage you to read reporter Kyle Stokes’s full account. The takeaway, at least according to Green? “That audio, I believe, exonerates me,” she tells MinnPost. “I didn’t mess up my budget. That money is there.”

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