Greg Mudge, owner of beloved Corktown hotspot Mudgie's Deli — and, according to the outpour of love on social media, one of the kindest souls in the biz and the heart of Corktown — died early Sunday. He was 46.The cause of death is unknown, however Mudge's mother Sandy Pressley confirmed her son's death on Facebook and has said his passing was sudden and not related to COVID-19.
"I can't even," Pressley wrote on Facebook. "This morning heaven gained a special angel. My son who had the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone has passed away. I am beyond numb. To know him was to love him and so, so many did. He has left a hole in my heart that will never be replaced. I love you, Greg Mudge!"
Mudge opened Mudgie's Deli in 2008 at 1300 Porter Street after Eph McNally's, a popular eatery where Mudge worked, closed. He was also a photographer and a DJ.
It was under Mudge's leadership that Mudgie's became a celebrated, award-winning, best of list-making mainstay in the Detroit area. The deli attracts out-of-town visitors, residents, and Mudge's culinary/hospitality peers alike with an expansive menu of creative sandwiches for meat eaters and herbivores, as well as sides, and wines.
"I have no words for this loss," Bobcat Bonnie's owner Matthew Buskard wrote on Facebook. "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."
Batch Brewing Co. owner Stephen Roginson reflected on his "dear friend, colleague, and neighbor."
"I hope that at some point, each of you develop a friendship like I had with him," Roginson wrote. "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."
Former restaurant critic Mark Kurlyandchik called Mudge "one of the realest human beings" he had the fortune to know.
"A gentle goofball with a heart of gold and a love for life — an underdog’s underdog who gave all of himself to his community. Detroit is a dimmer place without him. I will miss him terribly."
Detroit News' restaurant writer and critic Melody Baetens Malosh called Mudge's death a "total gut punch and a huge loss."
Southwest staple Duly's Place applauded Mudge's dedication to the community and those in his orbit.
"Greg has been active supporting events and charities throughout Corktown and Southwest Detroit for many years," Duly's Place Facebook shared. "A very kind and caring man, he began his business way before so much took off and exploded in the Corktown area. Took over the business that was most known as Eph McNally’s way back in the day and before that was known as O’Leary’s tea house. Mudgie’s is a great place to grab a sandwich to go and we hope the family will be able to continue on his legacy."
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist also took to social media to reflect on Mudge's impact on the Detroit community.
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. https://t.co/VaxvikoKZI— Garlin Gilchrist (@garlin) September 6, 2021
"He will be missed but not forgotten, Gilchrist continued. "Every friend, neighbor, fellow entrepreneur/restauranteur, 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."
Greg Mudge was one of the people that make Detroit what it is. Kind, impassioned, dedicated. He will be missed. https://t.co/9kE5TRoIhj— Ghostly (@ghostly) September 6, 2021
Greg was an incredibly kind person and did so much, quietly, for others. I’m shocked and truly gutted for those closest to him. We’ve lost a lovely soul. ❤️ https://t.co/ImDF4MnO98— Dean Padre Simmer (@mojodean) September 5, 2021
We are so sad to hear of the passing of Greg Mudge.— Planet Ant Detroit (@planetantdet) September 6, 2021
The outpouring of love throughout Detroit is a testament to his impact on the city and everyone around him.
Corktown will not be the same.@Mudgies pic.twitter.com/6SXhenw0X8
I don’t know what is going on, but it’s too crazy out here. I talked to Greg not 2 weeks ago. Mudge is my man and this is not okay. Please be in peace, my friend. https://t.co/KgwEmlOFrK— Joey Rhode (@RufioJones) September 5, 2021
Mudgie's, beyond the amazing deli, was a bottle shop before bottle shops were bottle shops, so to speak. Only 46. Terrible.— Zach Clark (@ZachEClark) September 5, 2021
I'm speechless and heartbroken. You don't become a Detroit institution overnight, but Mudgie managed to do it. Rest easy, and save me a seat. https://t.co/WDfXwAiqBH— Omar Flores ✊🏽🟢🟡 (@GohfR) September 6, 2021
I knew Greg well…as fine a gentleman as I’ve ever met. We’ve known each other since the old EPH McNallys days. Whatever the place was called, best sandwich in Detroit. His legacy will live on, and I’ll think about Greg every time I’m there. Deepest condolences to his family. https://t.co/mlskxuCVTr— Paul Gross (@PGLocal4) September 6, 2021
#RIP #MyDetroitPlaya— Techno Nanny (@JMoneyRed) September 6, 2021
A REAL one that never left, unrelenting entrepreneurship & community love. You will be SORELY missed, #GregMudge 🕊 🥪 🕊 #Detroit deli owner Greg Mudge says ‘This is my Detroit’ https://t.co/3rEM7WpEw3
We lost a great man yesterday. Greg Mudge was the example when it came to kindness in small, local business. His empathetic way of doing things was a big inspiration behind what we do at DBC.— The Detroit Bus Co. (@DetroitBus) September 6, 2021
A person with an incredible soul. We will miss you, friend. ♥️
Photo: Detroit News pic.twitter.com/1m5XvpqNp5
Mudgie's will remain closed until Thursday to allow for staff to process the loss.
We toasted you, Greg. You were the most amazing host, friend, neighbor, human, citizen…. Our hearts are spit in half. Memory Eternal our friend and neighbor, Greg Mudge. 💔 https://t.co/D7i14Ge4Vj— Lindy (@LindyLenk) September 6, 2021
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