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Dayton’s Bluff St. Paul Saloon to reopen under new ownership
The St. Paul Saloon, a small establishment with a checkered past located next to the Historic Mounds Theatre on Hudson Road, is now under new ownership.
Alex Rivero, who grew up on the East Side, bought the bar at 1045 Hudson Road in late spring and is working to reopen it in late August or early September.
“The community just needs a push; a push in the right direction, and it will turn. We just can’t give up on it. So I’m real big on that. I’m real big on kids as well,” Rivero said in an interview.
He has big hopes for the bar, not only wanting to make it a neighborhood hotspot, but also a business associated with fundraising for kids events and youth sports. He said he wants to help bring more wholesome outdoor fun for kids to the East Side, as he remembers sports and park activities being a big part of his East Side childhood.
“I grew up on parks and rec, so that’s real big for me,” Rivero said.
He also always wanted to come back to the East Side and open a business.
His family moved to the East Side from Florida when he was 8 years old and he grew up near Case Avenue and Edgerton Street. Rivero graduated from Johnson High School and later married his high school sweetheart. They have four kids, ages 9 through 15 and currently live in Woodbury.
Rivero also has experience running a business, as he owns a car dealership, A & M Auto Sales, on St. Paul’s West Side.
At this point Rivero owns 100 percent of the St. Paul Saloon business and has partial ownership of the building. He said he is currently in negotiations to buy the entire building.
A fresh start
A search through Google Reviews, which were posted before Rivero purchased the bar, comes up with comments mentioning a sign that used to be on the door. It apparently indicated that patrons’ pants had to be pulled up to their waists in order to enter the bar. Other commentors claimed a prior bar owner was unfriendly towards people of color.
Rivero said he had heard the bar was receiving a somewhat negative reputation, but he is starting fresh, focusing on establishing a friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
“I’m just trying to make it a great bar,” Rivero said.
After hearing his life story and learning about the cosmetic changes he has already made to the bar, the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council expressed support for reopening the neighborhood bar and voted in July to write a letter of support for the establishment.
Rivero is currently waiting to receive a liquor license from the city of St. Paul.
He has installed new appliances, upgraded the heating and air conditioning systems, and spruced up the interior — replacing the carpeting and painting the walls.
He also will be adding in some new Irish beers and will have a full food menu with items like burgers, tacos and salads, among other things. Rivero said he might tweak the menu as he learns his East Side clientele’s tastes.
“I hope it [St. Paul Saloon] will be positive. I want to make it a cornerstone of the community.”
Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto.