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St. Paul's legendary Porky's drive-in building moving to Hastings, Minn., pioneer village

Hastings resident Steve Bauer takes down a panel on a large sign at Porky's drive-in restaurant along University Avenue in St. Paul on Tuesday afternoon. Bauer is going to move the sign and the Porky's building to Hastings, where he will refurbish them at the Little Log House Pioneer Village, which he operates with his family along 220th Street. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson

Collector Steve Bauer and his family announced Monday, April 11, that they were bringing the longtime St. Paul landmark restaurant, Porky's, to Hastings.

Bauer and his wife, Sylvia, and their family operate the Little Log House Pioneer Village here. They will add Porky's to their collection of buildings.

Porky's operated as a popular drive-in diner on University Avenue until April 3, when it closed.

"It's such an important part of the community," he said Monday. "To see this thing go into a Dumpster, it's not what should be done to stuff like this. The memories aren't something you can just make up. They were built in here. There are all kinds of stories."

Bauer said he met a Twin Cities man named Tim Dowd who met his wife at Porky's 52 years ago.

"She waited on him, and he thought she was sort of a cute little girl," Bauer said. "He asked her out, and asked her what time she got off work. Three months later, he proposed to her in that parking lot.

"It's just stuff like that (that made us want to save the building)."

The main Porky's sign was not part of the sale, but several other pieces of the restaurant will make their trip to Hastings in addition to the building. The building will be dismantled, put back together and brought to life in time for the Antique Power Show, set for July 29-31. It will not be operating as a restaurant except on special occasions.

The Little Log House Pioneer Village is located south of Hastings off Highway 61 at 220th Street.

Chad Richardson

Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.

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