January 7, 2007
Take liberal amounts of coffee, cigarettes, chocolate and alcohol and combine with a selection of artists and lawyers, musicians and writers, businesspeople and professors, students and slackers. Stuff all ingredients into a tiny downtown storefront. Infuse with cool music, season with lavish annual fetes and souse wildly with Chartreuse. Age for 13 years and voila! The Bourgeois Pig.
Modeled after European coffee houses, the Pig-as it's known to the faithful-was the first in Lawrence to offer both coffee and alcohol to its patrons. Opening day-July 1, 1994-featured an exhibition of William Burroughs' artworks, and the Pig's annual Bastille Day bash has now become a downtown tradition.
On the first day of 2007, Pig masterminds Russell Livingston and Charlie Whitman transferred ownership of the downtown icon to Ryan and Rob Pope and Ed Rose, the consortium of musician-entrepreneurs behind the Black Lodge recording studio and Blue Collar Distro.
Street Level adopts a porcine state of mind to chat with Ryan Pope, Charlie Whitman and various senior Piggies about times gone by and what lies ahead.