“The King of Skid Row: John Bacich and the Twilight Years of Old Minneapolis”

James Eli Shiffer

John Bacich, known as “Johnny Rex”, owned a bar, liquor store, and cage hotel in Minneapolis’ infamous “Gateway District” until urban renewal destroyed it in the early 1960s. Shiffer uses his stories and photos, along with contemporary sociological studies, to describe this lost era and place and the men (mostly) who inhabited it.

(This book makes a good companion to “Augie‚Äôs Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip“, whose subject, Augie Ratner, did business only a few blocks — though not in skid row — from Bacich.)

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