Desperately seeking Pi Bar owners

Categories: Business

The home of dildo bingo might be in its final days. Pi Bar and Restaurant, a Twin Cities hub of rock shows, cheap pool (free during happy hour!), and "queer women and their friends" is in dire need of cash to stay afloat. And its owner has an idea about where it might come from.

Pi's owner, Tara Yule, sent an e-mail out today expressing gratitude to the people who have helped her raise money so far. Yule also informed Pi's patrons of an idea for fund-raising. Under Yule's pal Joni Thome's plan the building Pi occupies will become a community-owned space for events. The bar will continue to function as is, and everybody who contributes to help Pi pay off its debt (this is a bad, bad time to need $600,000...) will become a part owner of the building. They're also planning something special for big spenders who contribute $500 or more. Read the complete letter below.

This is a personal note from the owner of Pi Bar, Tara Yule:

I have been overwhelmed by the response from our community to the news
that Pi is closing. People have expressed their desire to come together to
raise money toward the effort to retain this space for the community which it
has served. Only weeks ago, the financial challenge seemed insurmountable.
However, a significant amount of money has already been raised in an
effort to save Pi's building. In addition, other parties have emerged with
potential, alternative, creative financing ideas that could bridge the
shortfall if enough money is raised. Joni Thome is a good friend of mine
and definitely Pi family. She's a mom, a lawyer, a long time activist,
and a great, caring person. She is one of the many people that have come
forward to organize this endeavor. What she has to say sums up the
sentiment of many that have come to me. Our ultimate goal is to preserve
this space for the service of the community that it has worked to bring
together and come to love. I invite you to read her words and consider
the offer.

Here's Joni's letter:


Most of you have probably heard by now that the Pi Bar will have to
close its doors effective November 15th. This is to let you know that
this does not need to happen and that I believe, it should not happen.
Here is what is going on:

The Pi Bar and Restaurant:
I like to go to Pi and here is why.
This is the only place I have ever been where the sign "everyone
welcome" speaks the truth about the establishment. Many in our
communities have worked long and hard to bring different communities of
color, culture, age, class, sexual orientation and gender identity
together in one place - in 30 years in this community I have only
witnessed two venues achieve that goal - Twin Cities Pride and Pi. And,
Pi has done it in under two years! This is more than a bar, it's a
place that is rich in potential and one that is destined to become a
community landmark. Last night I watched and celebrated the election
results with my Seward and Longfellow neighbors, several punks, a group
of children, postal workers, teachers, stay at home parents, students,
lawyers, bankers, city and county workers, people who just lost their
jobs and houses and so on - I was at Pi and the true community spirit
could not have been more intense. Then again, this night was not all
that different from other evenings at Pi - whether for Dildo Dingo, a
Kid Dance Party, a neighborhood wine tasting or for a fundraiser, the
community spirit is present at this place. We cannot let this unique
and necessary space get away.

The Problem: Pi Bar owners, like any small business owners, had to
take risks in their efforts to get the business started. One was to
take the building on a contract for deed. That deed ballooned in
September. Throughout the summer and in to the fall, Pi owners worked
tirelessly in their efforts to obtain financing for the building.
Obviously, this balloon came at a bad time in the life of US economy, we
are not at our best. The building itself is valued over $600,000.00 and
the current owner wants $600,000.00. If Pi cannot finance or raise that
money by mid-month, it will take the necessary steps to ready the
building to be retaken by the title owners. BUT, in the last week since
Pi made it known that it would have to close, over $100,000.00 have been
donated to the business.

The Solution: Make the building a community owned space - sort of like
the Green Bay Packers. That is, private donors contribute dollars to
bring the amount to be financed down to a manageable level or provide
enough funds to purchase the building outright. Current Pi owner Tara
Yule would then become the steward for the building. The Pi Bar and
Restaurant would continue to operate consistent with its current
philosophy and environment and, it would continue to be the space for
fundraising and other events in our communities. The benefit to our
communities and to each donor is not something that can be defined at
this time. Management has tossed around ideas of VIP status and public
recognition for contributions - contributions of $500.00 and more . I
know that I will donate because I go to Pi because of what it has become
and what it will continue to be in our community. We won't have a
chance like this again perhaps for a long, long time. You can become a
proud "owner" of the Pi Bar and Community Center by sending all you can

Pi Bar
2532 25th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406

In the unlikely event that not enough funds are raised to purchase the
building, your check will not be cashed. If you want your check
returned to you in this event, please send a note indicating the same
along with the check.

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