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Aaron Esterby letter: Ralph's Bar is vital part of Moorhead

Moorhead city officials and quite possibly the people of Moorhead have no idea how important Ralph's Corner Bar is to this community. To think that the city would not help fund an external renovation of the building baffles me. It doesn't take th...

Moorhead city officials and quite possibly the people of Moorhead have no idea how important Ralph's Corner Bar is to this community. To think that the city would not help fund an external renovation of the building baffles me. It doesn't take the eyes of a city planner to see that the building needs some work. So, why would you not want to help? Why would you want to destroy such a long-standing and successful business?

The city of Moorhead needs to realize the value of a place like Ralph's Corner and help save it. It is one of a kind in this area. Destroying it for the sake of "beautification" would be an absolute crime.

Ralph's has a local and national reputation for original live music. There is no other venue in the area that can really say that. Sure, we have the Fargodome and Playmakers that bring in some bigger acts from time to time. But there is only one spot in the Fargo-Moorhead area to go if you want to see original, up and coming, local and national bands before they are big enough to hit the stage at a venue like The Mighty Pillbox (Fargodome). That place is Ralph's Corner.

Touring bands from all over the country have played the backroom of Ralph's and a handful of them have ended up being commercially successful bands. There has to be a place to get your start, and Ralph's has been one of those places for a long time. The importance of a place like this in our community is obvious.

I've been in bands in this area for more than 10 years. It's hard to find a place to play around here if you play original music, and losing Ralph's would just make it much harder. Our local music scene would suffer a blow that it may never recover from if it were gone. We've watched so many of our live music venues die out, get bought out, etc. (Exit 99, The Elks, The old Moose Lodge, 1st Avenue, Kirby's to name a few). Ralph's has too much history to join this list.

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You can build (insert your favorite chain restaurant here) anywhere in Moorhead, or Fargo for that matter. You can't just build another Ralph's. Ralph's Corner Bar is not some national chain that has no life or history in our area. It is an important locally owned business that cannot be replaced. Moorhead needs to get on board and help Ralph's out.

Aaron Esterby

Fargo

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