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May 16, 2018 06:06 PM

Mr. Bendo Moving To Minnesota Avenue

Mr. Bendo is on-the-go. The iconic statue located for decades in front of Buck's Muffler on the east side of Sioux Falls will have a new home, at 33rd and Minnesota.  But Mr. Bendo had to jump through a few hoops to make the move.

Mr. Bendo now has his official marching orders.   The City of Sioux Falls approved his move from Buck's Muffler on Cliff Avenue to his new home at Automotive Brake and Exhaust.

"I think he's going to add a lot of recognition for our muffler shop," owner Joe Darst said.

Owner Joe Darst bought Mr. Bendo for several thousand dollars. But as part of an agreement with the city, Mr. Bendo will have to drop the pipe he's clung to for decades.   
That's because the city considers that a sign, and businesses are only allowed one of them.

"And if we take the pipe out of his hand it will remain as a memorable piece of artwork that's been here for 54 years," Darst said.

Even though Mr. Bendo won't be considered a bearded billboard, Darst is glad the big guy will remain in Sioux Falls.

"The history behind Mr. Bendo and the history that will go on with him will be a good thing for the city," Darst said.

Darst already has a spot picked out for Mr. Bendo.  It's on the north side of the parking lot where he'll be seen by thousands of cars along Minnesota Avenue every day.

People next door are looking forward to having Mr. Bendo as their new neighbor, and as a signpost to their own business.

"He was kind of a landmark in more ways than one.  I think a lot of it was for navigation.  Take a left at Mr. Bendo," Burkley Fogarty of PC Gold Computers said.

It should be a smooth transition for Mr. Bendo since he's simply moving from one muffler shop to another, where he'll be striking the same pose as he has for years: hand up, but pipe down.

Darst hopes Mr. Bendo will make the move by the end of the month, after Buck's Muffler goes out of business.  Darst hasn't figured out all of the logistics yet.  But he says the move will require a big crane and a very long trailer.   And they'll try to avoid all the road construction on Minnesota.

Mr Bendo

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