Who: Lawyers, their friends in the publishing industry, and fans of Law & Politics
What: The Party’s Over Party
Where: Atlas Bar and Restaurant
When: Thursday, May 6
Why: To bid adieu to Law & Politic s after 20 fabulous years
Around 200 folks streamed through the skyways to spend their happy hour at Atlas Bar and Restaurant on Thursday, arriving to salute Minnesota Law & Politics . The publication, which built its reputation on an utterly unique mix of industry talk and total irreverence, ceased operations this spring.
The party officially started at 5 p.m., but when I made my usual unfashionably early arrival, the festivities were already in full swing. Executive editor Adam Wahlberg was one of the first people I met; he happily led me over to publisher Bill White and editor Steve Kaplan. I was barely able to pull off a photo of these well-known gents; they were clearly in high demand as the men of the hour. I also ran into Mpls.St.Paul colleagues Deb Hopp, Gary Johnson, and Kevin Dunn, who ventured downstairs to join the fun.
Despite the somewhat sad occasion, the suited-up crowd was rowdy and fun, schmoozing over drinks and hors d’oeuvres served by the friendly Atlas waitstaff. A cash bar sat in the open dining area, but I ran into a smaller group of revelers who escaped the crowds by sticking to the wood paneled rear bar.
Copies of All Seriousness Aside , a collection of publisher Bill White’s stories from Law & Politics ’s back page, were on sale. And on display: blown-up copies of the mag’s over-the-top covers, complete with notes on inspiration, production, and reactions.
I heard that later in the evening, Bill White and Steve Kaplan received a plaque declaring it Minnesota Law & Politics Day in Minneapolis—signed by Mayor R.T. Rybak. A bout with illness meant my energy levels weren’t up to par with these litigious legions, and I sadly had to bow out before the true festivities began. But by the time I left, the restaurant was packed and the conversations transformed into a dull roar that echoed throughout U.S. Bank Plaza’s cavernous lobby: a high-energy sendoff for a publication with the slogan “Only our name is boring.”