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The Muddy Pig, the charming, quietly influential gastropub at Selby and Dale in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill neighborhood, abruptly closed Tuesday night.

“Like many recent closing[s], it has been tough times financially for small independents like the Muddy Pig,” was the message that co-owners Dawn Danylczenko and Mark Van Wie shared on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We gave it a good run for 16 years, and created many wonderful memories for St. Paul.”

Yes, they did. On Twitter, they wrote, “As many know, the bar/pub business is tough and just like @Ward6StPaul, we have struggled,” referring to Ward 6, the East Sider that closed on Sunday.

The restaurant and bar (which emphasized whiskey and craft beers) opened in 2002, taking over a space that had been previously occupied by Bamboleo, Maggie’s Tavern and, from the late 80s to the late 90s, Cognac McCarthy’s.

There has been some turnover in the St. Paul dining scene. Along with 5 1/2 year-old Ward 6, Fern's Bar & Grill ended its 27-year run on May 29.

The nearby Wild Onion closed in late March, ending 20 years on Grand Avenue. The space won't remain dark for long, however; a branch of Red Rabbit, the North Loop restaurant owned by Red Cow magnate Luke Shimp, is under construction.

A few doors down, another restaurant is the works, in the space formerly occupied by the Golden Fig (which expanded into roomier digs next door); it's called Hyacinth, an Italian trattoria that's the work of chef Rikki Giambruno. And several blocks further west on Grand, Tom Forti has recently transformed his Sunrise Market and Cafe into the Iron Ranger.

(Photo by Matthew Hintz)