Greg Mudge, owner of Mudgie’s Deli in Corktown, passed away on Sept. 5 at the age of 46. Mudge opened the deli in 2008 and it has since become a cornerstone of the neighborhood. Since the news of his passing, there has been an outpouring of acknowledgement from the Detroit restaurant community and beyond, and many remember Mudge for his commitment to the community and his kindness.
Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson reflects on the loss of his friend in the essay below.
I need to say just a few words about my friend, Greg Mudge, the owner of Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Shop in Corktown, who died over the weekend, suddenly, at the age of 46.
Everyone who knew Greg knew of his intense love for Corktown, of his intense love for the city of Detroit and the absolute joy that he got from the food that he made at Mudgie’s, and served to people all over the metro area.
I saw Greg for the last time just a few weeks ago. We hadn’t seen each other in a really long time, of course, because of the pandemic. We talked, and talked, and talked, and talked and he was so worked up about the possibilities of life after the pandemic, about the things that were going to come back together. He was so frustrated that things weren’t happening faster, that he couldn’t get enough people to work in the restaurant to keep it open longer and to make sure that he was able to serve as many people as he wanted to.
I remember leaving that conversation thinking about the absolute passion and love that this guy just had for what he was doing, and for our community here in the city of Detroit. And so I was, of course, stunned like everybody else over the weekend to hear of his death. But I immediately thought about that conversation that we had and the incredible loss and think of how much of that loss we have suffered over the last year and a half because of COVID-19, not that this is related to that. But we just seem to be missing … so many vital pieces of our community right now.
It’s really hard to keep your head up and keep going. But of course, we will.
We wish Greg’s family and his co-workers and everybody else peace in this moment as they try to remember Greg Mudge.