One of my favorites at the Big 10 was the hamburger topped with sour cream and raw onions. Damn if I can remember what it was called. And their subs were dee-lish – and the portions more than generous. Tuesday nights meant cheap pitchers of beer, which meant skipping an early Wednesday morning class or attending it hung over.
I’m sad about these two restaurants closing, not just because people are losing jobs, but because the neighborhood is losing two cornerstones of its identity. Both places represent a time long gone, before cell phones encroached into our lives and took over. The Village Wok and the Big 10 were the places to go with friends, whether it was to talk, celebrate surviving finals, to stuff your face, to have a beer before a Minnesota Gopher hockey game or after a late movie. It was social long before social media.
Unfortunately, these two aren’t the only casualties of “progress.”
Earlier this year, after 66 years, Nye’s Polonaise closed its door to be replaced with – yup, you guessed it – another apartment building. Nye’s made wicked strong drinks, stick to your ribs meals and was home to the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band. The Band even sung happy birthday to me one year. Yes, it was extremely awesome.
In my opinion, the city made zero effort to save Nye’s. I’m starting to think the city doesn’t give a shit about preserving any part of its history. Older than 10 years? Raze it, put up a tall apartment building and charge too much for rent. I can only guess the real reason behind tearing it down.
Closer to home, a small plot across the street from where I live was sold to a developer building – what else? – another apartment building.
I really don’t understand this thing Minneapolis calls “progress.” The uniqueness of the city, the things that give it its character and charm are being demolished – literally. No offense suburbia, but I don’t want to become like you, a conglomeration of prefabricated chain stores and restaurants.
Progress, or at least this kind of “progress,” really stinks.