Calls To Save Porky’s May Be Too Late

By Bruce Hagevik, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It opened in 1953 as one of the first drive-in restaurants in the Twin Cities, but now Porky’s is being sold to a nearby senior housing developer and Sunday is the last scheduled day of operation.

“Porky’s is really emblematic of the car culture that emerged in the Twin Cities in the 1950’s,” said Erin Hanafin Berg, field representative for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Interviews Erin Hanafin

The Alliance is making a last-minute effort to save Porky’s but Berg admits it’s a difficult task. An auction is planned for Monday morning.

“Once parts of the building start, kind of, flittering away to the winds if somebody buys, you know, the signage or the canopy or things like that, obviously it’s going to be much harder to preserve as an intact site,” said Berg.

Berg says they’ve been unable to talk directly with Porky’s owner.

The St. Paul restaurant is easily recognized on University Avenue by it’s 8-foot tall pig sign.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Charles William Clifford says:

    It should be easy to move Porky’s. How about putting it on Snelling, over by the fairgrounds. Or at least put up something like it. I think it was the people and the cars that made it fun, not so much the checkerboard and covering and sign. Even just saving the pig might be good enough.

  2. Jason says:

    Why is it closing? Did I miss something?

    1. Nate Hoffmann says:

      Well…if you read the story, you’ll get your answer.

      1. Steve says:

        no, it is not.

        1. Nate Hoffmann says:

          “But now Porky’s is being sold to a nearby senior housing developer and Sunday is the last scheduled day of operation”

          Putting the pieces together, seems that this housing developer plans to develop the plot.

  3. Dan says:

    Re-install it at the fairgrounds – charge cars $5 to get onto the fairgrounds on the weekends and no charge during the week. Brilliant idea and a jobs and $ creater for when the fair is not open. It would become a ‘mecca’ for performance and classic car enthusiasts. It could be our .woodward’ avenue. Dan

  4. Juli says:

    Agreed on the fairgrounds idea! Porky’s owners were wise in seeing that the construction on University Ave would be a blow to big to overcome. Particularly when the city seemed to be working very hard to limit the traffic gathered around the area. I hope not to see many other businesses follow suit.

  5. gtV says:

    Save St.Paul’s historic link to an unique piece of Americana and American heritage. SAVE PORKY’s!!!

    To those Minnesotans who have the where withal to save a piece of social history for generations to come; SAVE PORKY’s!!! Other cities have saved something from their memorable past and melded into their urban renewal projects why can’t St.Paul? Don’t let Porky’s slip by into the oblivion of the “remember when” times. Save Porky’s and St.Paul will be that much richerin pride and spirit for it.

  6. Swamp Fox says:

    SAVE PORKY’s!!!

  7. trebor says:

    It’s a dump, its about time this eyesore was torn down.

  8. Matt B says:

    Porky’s is a St. Paul Trademark pretty much. Weekends it is packed with people and sweet cars; old and new. Save it or move it onto Snelling. Don’t let a tradition be torn down for Senior Housing. I don’t think seniors would want to be around the “car” scene. Put them in the suburbs where its quiet and peaceful. At least that’s where I would want to live when I am older…SAVE PORKY’S!!!!

    1. trebor says:

      porky’s is a dump, should have been torn down a long time ago

      1. Tailgunner says:

        Trebor …your house is a DUMP…………..

        1. trebor says:

          and you are a moron

          1. SCOTT says:

            WE R TRYING 2 SAVE PORKY’S IT A LANDMARK IF U DO LIKE PORKY’S MOVE OUT OF MN

            1. trebor says:

              An eyesore is an unpleasant view. Its technical usage is as an alternative perspective to the notion of landmark. Common examples include dilapidated buildings, graffiti, litter, polluted areas and excessive commercial signage such as billboards

      2. Matt B says:

        If Porky’s is a “dump” then why do so many people like it? Sorry if we aren’t all “proper” and high class like you, but us middle-class residents of Minnesota like older, traditional trademarks that show class. If you do not like it, then please leave the state of Minnesota, or just the Twin Cities residential area. No one wants your negative attitude to a place that has been there since the 1950’s. I;m sorry, but please leave Minnesota.

  9. Linda says:

    I remember when I was a little girl, we use to live right behind Porky’s. My sister and I would go over there at lunch time and visit with all people there having lunch. We got to sit in a police car many times while they were having there lunch. There use to be a big wall behind there. We would sit on there with many workers who were having there lunch. Save Porky’s please.

    1. SCOTT COOER says:

      we r trying save porky’s its landmark if u do not like porky’s move out of MN

      1. trebor says:

        read what Harvey said it is the truth
        if you do not make money you close down
        that is why the dump is closing

  10. Harvey says:

    If the owners of Porkys were making a decent profit they would not be selling. The profit from selling must be more than they will ever make from the drive in. Probably more people were loitering than buying. Summer time only business from car people must not be enough. They will have to find another place to congregate.

  11. David Wagner says:

    I just want to say that porky s was so good and I love it so much it sure would be sad for it to go… How about moving to Minneapolis about 4 blocks from were there new store was is a old burger king it has lots of room and the building has a drive through as well the building has been closed for many years now and nothing seems to want to go in there. please do not leave like all other places are doing or how about this issue can you close during construction then reopen on the day of the opening for the new light rail its just an idea but please do not say good bye

  12. scott cooper says:

    save porky’s ! ! ! ! ! ! no more back ot the 50 at porky’s ;(

  13. megan ernst says:

    save porky’s it a historic landmark ,NO MORE BACK TO 50 AT PORKY’S ;(

  14. SCOTT COOPER says:

    save porky’s for st.paul it’s sad 2 see it going ;(

  15. RIII says:

    Porky’s paid $26,000 a year in property taxes. When you add in mortgage payments, unemployment insurance, workers comp, liability insurance, licenses and other city related fees it is hard to make a living. Expecting traffic to go way down during light rail construction and property taxes to go up after the light rail is running selling the dump makes the most sense. The Met Council will not be happy until all the existing businesses on University are gone.

    1. Harvey says:

      In the long run light rail will bring more people to university Avenue. With the stations and the generous on/off times it will increase business. Except for maybe the auto repair shops and the u haul place. With an increase in business comes an increase in value so property taxes will go up. Property taxes are not funding light rail.
      Just like the Prom Ballroom for the generation before, the value of the property is more than the business can make. That is why they sell, The posters pro Porkys and their friends did not buy enough and now it is going.

  16. pat says:

    i always drove up and made the 2 1/2 hour drive on weekends just to see the beatiful cars and enjoy the food at porkys sinse i was 19 years old in my chevelle and porkys is what got me into car sollecting
    SOMEONE PLEASE SAVE PORKYS SAVE PORKYS SAVE PORKYS
    MOVE IT TO THE FAIRGROUNDS IS A GREAT IDEA
    COME ON THERE IS SOMETHING SOMEONE CAN DO BUT LET PORKYS LIVE ON I WANT TO TAKE MY DAUGHTER UP THERE AND LET HER ENJOY IT LIKE I DID

  17. pat says:

    WHAT ABOUT ANYTHING LIKE IT BEING A HISTORICAL LANDMARK IS THAT A WAY TO SAVE IT COME ON SOMEONE SAVE IT PLEASE OR MOVE IT SO IT CAN STAY ALIVE PLEASE

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