E-DEMOCRACY | After loss of Black Bear Crossing, what’s next for Como Park Pavilion?


Renee Jenson posted at 6:50pm, Jun 19:

…Rumors are floating around about what the city intends to do with the Pavillion at Como Park. I think Como Park is a treasure of the city and that process needs to fully open and unbiased so everyone can have their say in it. Many of us in the Como area are appalled that we lost Black Bear Crossing and didn’t even have a chance to storm City Hall with our protest signs chanting “2-4-6-8, Black Bear Crossing is really Great”.

Anyway, how does the City plan to keep everyone fully informed about next steps in the process? You got me posting again so you know what they say, things are not well down in Whoville.

Renee Jenson

NOTE: According to a June 15 PiPress article by Frederick Melo, Black Bear Crossing will close “at the end of the year,” even after winning the first round of a lawsuit against the city.

Jeanne Weigum posted at 7:10pm, Jun 19:

You won’t be hearing me cry over the loss of Black Bear at Como, having had numerous bad experiences there. My understanding is the City plans to do some patron surveying to determine community interest. It might make more sense to simply contact the parks department and ask them how they plan to do this rather than depend on those of us who don’t know to fill in the answers based on our best guess and the brief reporting in the PP.

Jeanne Weigum

John Sherman posted at 7:25pm, Jun 19:

Ditto on the tragedy of losing Black Bear. I heard rumors that city parks and some of downtown’s elected officials wanted something more “Minneapolis” at the pavilion. Something like Sea Salt over at Minnehaha Park. The Minneapolis park eateries are certainly nice – I was just at Lake Harriet on Saturday and enjoyed a nice ice cream float. But Black Bear was uniquely our own and a true asset to Saint Paul. We don’t need to be Minneapolis.

Does anyone have details confirming or denying the rumor. If it is true then I intend to ask questions this fall.

John Sherman
On the Marches of Como and the North End

Renee Jenson posted at 3:35pm:

Hmmm. This place is not what it used to be like. You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy.

Here’s the link to the survey to copy in your browser that St. Paul is putting out -but not advertising well-soliciting people’s opinion on what should go in to the Como Park Pavilion.


Some people think it is all about whether fish tacos or pronto pups should be served there or if jet skis or paddle boats should be rented.

Frankly, I think it is appalling that one of the few Native American business owners that does business with the city was railroaded out of business (Black Bear Crossing/railroaded : just caught that) by decision makers in St. Paul. Not only did that happen which is against the city’s minority business development and retention goals, they put out a survey asking what we want to eat there and play on, not what we want to see developed and how we want to see it developed in our neighborhood.

I can see why so many lawyers are employed by the City of St. Paul.

Renee Jenson

Steven Clift posted at 3:47pm:

The city has a survey up:


The City of Saint Paul is reviewing service partnership sites across the city. The Como Lakeside Pavilion (Pavilion) is located within Como Regional Park in Saint Paul, MN.

The Pavilion currently features a full-service restaurant, concession stand, paddle boat rentals, a banquet hall, and meeting rooms. In addition, concerts, musicals, and plays are offered regularly throughout the summer.

This survey is the first step of a community process intended to gather input on the current and future use of this public space. Check the website at http://www.stpaul.gov/parks regularly for project updates, timelines and opportunities to participate.

At this moment they have 75 statements “on forum” and your can see a summary of the results (note 2 to 1 response from women).

This link should bring you to the real-time summary (very very cool):

Put in your feedback:

Tom Goldstein posted at 5:43pm

I share Renee’s concerns. The city, as in this administration, seems to have an agenda that views parks and public spaces as being about new buildings, entertainment, and serving an affluent demographic rather than seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders who would benefit greatly from a commitment to more parks rather than fancier ones. Obviously, the Como Park Pavilion is a more complicated proposition given that it already has many amenities and “moving parts,” but Parks and Rec leadership involving both the Lilydale Park reconstruction and the development of the Saints ballpark has been abysmal, so I would be pretty apprehensive whether a meaningful public input process will occur as it relates to the Pavilion.

Tom Goldstein

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