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20th Anniversary of Chinese Lantern fire

(Duluth News Tribune photo of Jan. 16, 1994, Chinese Lantern fire)

It’s the 20th anniversary of the fire that closed the old Chinese Lantern.

Back in the 1980s we lived in Silver Bay, and my parents used to make special trips down to Duluth just to go to this place. Now they drive up from the cities to visit and we’ll take them out to eat at many of the fine restaurants we have, and they’ll always comment about how great the Chinese Lantern was and how there’s nothing else like it. Even when my wife worked at the Duluth Athletic Club, before the flooding closed it, she would always hear comments like, “This place is great, but it’s no Chinese Lantern.”

So what was it about that place that people still lament its passing 20 years later?

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7 Comment(s)

  1. The only thing I really remember about the Chinese Lantern is sitting next to an autographed 8x10 of Marsh Nelson.

    And, of course, I can never resist the opportunity to point out I still have a Chinese Lantern / Brass Phoenix T-shirt (which, as previously noted on PDD, I wore to the Kiss concert in 1990).

    One more thing: We would be remiss if we didn’t extend the R.I.P. to all the places that failed after the Chinese Lantern …

    R Bar: A Railway Pizzeria
    Score Sports Bar & Grill
    Duluth Athletic Club Bar & Grill
    Champp’s Americana
    Blue Water Bar & Grill
    Bella Vita Ristorante

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 17, 2014 | New Comment
  2. Wasn’t there a nightclub that was there sometime in the last few years? I remember driving by and seeing all the lights and no people.

    BadCat! | Jan 17, 2014 | New Comment
  3. Yeah, the DAC opened a club called 21 North that started out strong and fizzled out. They sold it and it became the new Tap Room briefly, until some drunken revelers stuffed all the TP in the bathroom down at once and flooded the building, closing both businesses.

    Special K | Jan 17, 2014 | New Comment
  4. I still remember the Chinese Lantern best when it was on Superior Street before it moved into the Athletic Club. The carpet was red and plush. Going to the Chinese Lantern (both locations) was a special night out back when I was growing up.

    llinmpls | Jan 17, 2014 | New Comment
  5. That building on Superior Street was the second Palladio building. It is about to be torn down for the new Maurice’s Corporate tower. Read about all the buildings that stood on that corner here:

    Tony D. | Jan 17, 2014 | New Comment
  6. My only regret was that as a picky little kid, all I ever ate was shrimp fried rice and egg rolls. I wish I had tried some of their other dishes they were famous for back then. Also I had my first legal drink in a bar at the Brass Phoenix. It wasn’t that impressive early on a Wednesday night.

    Chris | Jan 19, 2014 | New Comment
  7. As a picky little kid, I always loved the Chinese Lantern because they would make me Cherry Coke, even though they didn’t carry it.

    Granted, it was just Maraschino cherry juice and regular coke. But for some reason it was special.

    That and the fountain.

    Dorkus | Jan 20, 2014 | New Comment

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