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BUZZ blog: Krashing the Kozy

Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl cover issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter. View the BUZZ Archives Crashing the Kozy If you've driven down First Street lately, you've probably noticed the Kozy Bar's facade is a little worse ...

Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl cover issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter .

View the BUZZ Archives

Crashing the Kozy

If you've driven down First Street lately, you've probably noticed the Kozy Bar's facade is a little worse for wear than usual, thanks to a Ford Mustang that crashed through it, tail end first, a few weeks ago at around 3 a.m.

Blame it on a careless driver, right? A certain Jesse Lee Thompson, 28, of Duluth, who was subsequently cited for DWI and careless driving.

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Well Jim Ming, the Kozy's manager doesn't stop there. He's sore that the driver of the offending vehicle had been drinking at another establishment, which he believes overserved him. Ming's convinced that if the same driver had been a patron of the Kozy, police would have been on the bar's case in a heartbeat. He contends this other bar operator isn't being held to the same standard.

Ming said he overheard the Mustang's driver telling an officer that he had been drinking at Grandma's that night. In a pique of anger, Ming decided to seek a little street justice after boarding up the hole left in the Kozy. With spraypaint he wrote: "Thank U Grandma's for the drive-thru bar."

However, the police report makes no mention of Grandma's, noting that the suspect was unccoperative when asked where he had been drinking.

Brian Daugherty, president of Grandma's, said he's perplexed by the Kozy's actions. After being informed of the sign, Daugherty called and asked the Kozy to take it down. But the bar refused.

"I think they're frustrated with the situation, and they're lashing out at us," said Daugherty.

But Daugherty doubts the sign is having any negative impact on Grandma's business. In fact, he joked that his only request was that the Kozy mention Grandma's "Summer dining on the patio."

Fortunately the Kozy was closed at the time of the accident. But the force of the crash took out the wall, cracked the building's foundation and claimed a piano and foosball table as casualties, as well.

Eric Ringsred, the building's owner, said he will likely undertake some additional work when he makes repairs to the Kozy. He's apparently looking at a new paint scheme, a flower planter and even some decorative ironwork details.

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Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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