After more than 30 shots flew through the parking lot of her St. Paul bar and restaurant early Friday morning, including one that narrowly missed her son, Gidget Bailey said she’s had enough of the city.
“We are looking to relocate our business,” an emotional Bailey said. “There is no money in the world that can replace a life.”
A police spokesman said no one was hurt in the shots fired before 1 a.m. outside Tin Cup’s at 1220 Rice St. Bailey said she is looking to get out nonetheless. Until she can add a kitchen to a second bar she owns in Vadnais Heights and relocate there, Bailey said she will start closing Tin Cup’s at 10 p.m., instead of its normal 1 a.m. “This neighborhood has been begging for help for more than a year now,” Bailey said. “And it just gets worse and worse.”
For almost that long, Bailey and others in the neighborhood have lambasted St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen, who represents the area, and Mayor Melvin Carter for not responding to their concerns.
They want the city to move its central police station to the neighborhood as well as add more officers to respond to gun violence. On Friday, Brendmoen was out of town and unavailable to be interviewed. But she posted on Facebook about the shooting, as well as about another that occurred earlier in the evening at the Lamplighter Lounge strip club less than a mile away. A man was injured in that incident.
“Addressing gun violence in the North End needs everyone to be a part of the solution,” she wrote. “It is terrifying to have this type of senseless violence in our neighborhoods and I know none of us condones it. No matter what you feel: anger, fear, or heartbreak — use it. But most importantly direct it toward being a part of our community solution.”
Peter Leggett, Carter’s communications director, said eliminating gun violence is the police department’s top priority and that those efforts are working. “Year-to-date violent crime rates and reports of shots fired are both down significantly from last year,” he said. “We wish Ms. Bailey well and stand ready to work with her to address Tin Cup's many challenges, which far predate Mayor Carter’s time in office.”
Brendmoen said she is working to set up a meeting with local leaders and community members. Bailey said she doubts a meeting will do much. Two months ago, she said she met with Brendmoen to discuss neighborhood crime concerns, and “she just told me she didn’t think crime was that bad in the community, and there is no reason why they can’t work on crime and on playgrounds at the same time.”
Over the years, Bailey said, Tin Cup’s has hosted fundraisers raising thousands of dollars for neighborhood causes, including money last year to pay for alley lighting to help deter crime. The city, she said, is not doing enough.
“You know what? My business is totally defeated. We are defeated,” she said. “There is no fight left.”