'Huge loss for Detroit:' Greg Mudge is saluted online and toasted outside Mudgie's

September 06, 2021, 11:15 AM

"I'm absolutely devastated. ... My heart is broken," photographer Lindy Lenk of Detroit posts with her shot of this Sunday night scene at Mudgie's. (Reposted with permission)

The holiday weekend blow hits hard.

News of Corktown entrepreneur Greg Mudge's sudden midlife death Sunday brought a small gathering and floral tributes that evening at his popular 13-year-old creation, Mudgie's Deli and Wine Bar on Porter Street.

"Greg was such a passionate, kind, generous, happy person," local author and educator Lindy Lenk posts with photos of the instant shrines on Brooklyn Street where "we toasted you, Greg." 

Update: "He will be missed by our community," Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib posts Monday night with a link to this roundup.

Admirers sharing social media salutes to the 46-year-old also include Lt. Garlin Gilchrist of Detroit, who tweets:

"When my family moved home to Corktown 7 years ago, Greg Mudge was one of the 1st to greet and welcome us at Murphy Playlot (across the street from Mudgie’s). From then on, I witnessed how his kind, humble, unselfish spirit truly lifted our community.

"He will be missed but not forgotten. Every friend, neighbor, fellow entrepreneur/restaurateur, patron and beneficiary of his generosity now has a responsibility to be better people and make Greg proud. Prayers and condolences for his family and all who knew him well."

Gregory Michael Mudge | 1975 – 2021

Moving reflections and an example of his community support also come from fellow entrepreneur and friend Andy Didorosi, founder of the Detroit Bus Company. Excerpts:

"My brain just won't let me process the passing of Greg Mudge. Greg was the rarest combination of incredibly hardworking, but also vastly kind and compassionate. 

"All of my interactions with Greg over the many, many years were always warm and so positive -- even when the subject matter was dire, like the crushing force of Covid or getting raked on credit card fees as a small business. He just kept trucking along and turned Mudgie's into a wonderful, affordable, delicious paradise for all.

"I remember so clearly when Mudgie's was just the tiny little soup and sandwich shop. Once, in the depth of January, I came to Greg to ask him about donating soup so we could serve people at homeless shelters. He didn't know me at all but immediately loaded us up with gallons and gallons of his special soups. No leftovers, this was straight from the fresh batch he was serving to customers that day. We served hundreds of folks that day based on his generosity alone.

"I'm never going to forget this incredible human who made Corktown feel like home. I'm gonna miss you so much, Greg."

Sunday night at the Corktown deli and wine bar. (Photo: Lindy Lenk)

Other admirers post on our site under this first-day article and on social media:

♦ "Huge loss for Detroit." – Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit Business senior editor

♦ "Total gut punch and a huge loss." -- Melody Baetens Malosh, Detroit News writer

♦ "I'm absolutely gutted about this. My first roommate, my dear friend, my confidant, a great DJ, an amazing entrepreneur and so much more.
"Greg Mudge, I don’t have the words to describe how your passing is affecting me and the Detroit community right now. But know, I will forever love you and will never forget what you’ve done for me and mean to me. I love you." -- Adriel Kenyatta Thornton, Detroit

(Photo: Lindy Lenk)

♦ "Greg Mudge was a dear friend, colleague, and neighbor. I hope that at some point, each of you develop a friendship like I had with him.
"Finding support in a harsh business reality is difficult to do. His leadership made life easier for me, as well as countless others. We will continue to navigate this world, but we will be lesser for it since we don’t have Greg helping us enter this reality with his kindness and enthusiasm.
"Tell your friends how you feel about them. Do it today. I love you Greg. I miss you, and struggle to imagine how the neighborhood moves forward without you." -- Stephen Roginson, Batch Brewing Co. owner

♦ "I have no words for this loss. ... Greg was always one of the best, most helpful and just good people I've ever known. I still just cannot believe this is actually true." -- Matthew Buskard, Bobcat Bonnie's owner

Greg Mudge and Liza Puglini in 2016, two years before they married. (Photo: Facebook)

♦ "I enjoyed Greg's remarkable gifts at his restaurant. Always kind and generous. Almost always, in the early days had time to chat with us tableside. His presence will shine in Detroit and Corktown." – David Seibert, South Lyon

♦ "Genuine soul with that smile to welcome us all." – Esteban Castro, Detroit

♦ "So many of us have sat with friends and family in the welcoming space he created -- the garden, the living-room like interior." -- Rebecca Powers, Birmingham writer and editor

♦ "Greg was Detroit. He gave a shit. He put his money where his heart is, Detroit. Great guy, big loss." -- Jeff Bryngelson, Macomb Township

♦ "Greg Mudge's was a life extraordinarily well-lived." – Lex Kuhne, Southfield attorney

♦ "Big loss for Detroit! Let’s honor Greg by being better; better friends, better neighbors, just better. Greg would love it!" -- Michelle Nabozny

♦ "This isn’t fair. I'm going to miss the hell out of him! … He loved going up north and now he's as far north as one can get." – Lindy Lenk, Detroit author, poet and photographer

♦ "I'm still in shock over the news. We lost a great one today." -- Stephanie Rhodes Hume, Detroit photographer and assistant to the executive director at Detroit Dog Rescue

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