You can play Pac-Man through the streets of Duluth on Google Maps. Cruise up Lake Avenue chomping pellets and speed down Superior Street trying to avoid Pinky, Blinky, Inky and Clyde. Click here or the image above to chomp away.
This works on desktop computers only, not mobile devices.
So I’m on the way home two weeks ago and sitting at the traffic light in on Central and Grand thinking I’m having some strange wish sandwich, déjà vu flashback episode. I know the post-traumatic Pizza Hut syndrome can be resurgent, but I swear they took the sign down months ago. Am I crazy?
The Arrowhead region of northeastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin boasts 14 craft breweries and brewpubs, producing nearly 20,000 barrels of convivial suds annually. For perspective, that’s about 600,000 gallons or 40,000 kegs or 5 million pints or 6.5 million 12-ounce bottles and cans.
When it comes to craft beer, of course, it’s a game of quality over quantity. So although the list below is stacked by order of the largest producers, obviously it is taste that matters most (though the latter is clearly subjective and difficult to rank). Some of the production numbers below are fairly precise, while others are estimates and subject to caveats, so our 6.5-million bottles/cans figure is the result of a lot of rounding off.
Bent Paddle Brewing
30-barrel microbrewery and tap room, founded in 2013
1912 W. Michigan St., Duluth
Karen Tonnis, vice president of operations; Laura Mullen, vice president of outreach and events; Bryon Tonnis and Colin Mullen, co-brewers (all four are owners)
2014 production: 7,850 barrels
10-barrel facility supplying five pubs and a retail store, founded in 1995
600 E. Superior St., Duluth
Tim Nelson and Rod Raymond, owners; Dave Hoops, master brewer
2014 production: 2,600 to 2,900 barrels (estimate)
College Ranker has sorted the nation’s college towns based on how “things like community, neighborhoods, schools” and other aspects create a place that is “attractive in retaining students who graduate from local colleges.” Duluth came in at #22. For some reason, UMD is the only one of the handful of colleges in the area that receives a mention in the text.
Courtland Powe, owner of the Duluth ice cream truck and cruisin’ kitchen called the King of Creams, has announced a restaurant of the same name will open in the Central Hillside at 502 E. Fourth St. this Saturday, March 14. The storefront had previously served as a Quiznos sandwich shop, and is better known as one of Duluth’s four former Jim’s Hamburgers locations. The new fast-casual restaurant will feature a menu that includes cheese-steak sandwiches, burgers, deep-fried pickles, malts and hand-scooped ice cream. Grand opening events will be held March 14 and 15, with all menu items at half price. Regular hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Tycoons Alehouse is in PreservationNation’s online competition to determine America’s favorite historic watering hole. The Historic Bars Tournament has tapped 32 historic drinkeries to compete against one another in an NCAA Tournament-style, single-elimination format. Each week the blog will serve another round of pairings where readers will vote for their favorite inns and alehouses. When the matchups run dry on April 3, only one bar will claim the top shelf. Voting for each round will last one week and close every Friday morning at 7 a.m. Once each round is complete, the bracket will be updated with vote counts and winners.
The Duluth News Tribune reported on Monday that Sumlee Beede is moving her Sala Thai restaurant from Woodland Avenue to Downtown Duluth. “Beede is buying the two-story brick building at 114 W. First St. where she started in the restaurant business in 1999,” the story notes. “That year, she opened Thai Krathong, which developed a loyal following for its authentic Thai food. After she sold the business, it moved to Canal Park and closed in 2013.” The move would displace the Giant Panda restaurant, and could result in legal action to execute the eviction. According to the DNT, a court hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week. Sala Thai is Duluth’s only Thai restaurant. Beede plans to close the Woodland location on March 26 and open the downtown location in April.
Walker Display, a locally owned art-display system manufacturer and distributor, is moving its operations from West Duluth to a warehouse at the Airpark in Duluth Heights. Its former location at 6520 Grand Avenue will be demolished in the coming months to make way for a new Kwik Trip convenience store.
When small businesses move into old buildings, sometimes it takes a while to get noticed. In this post we highlight three, starting in the Central Hillside with Le Chien Pet Salon at 810 E. Ninth St. Owner Heather Axtell opened this pet-grooming shop one year ago, offering all-breed dog and cat grooming — everything from a bath or nail trim to an everyday groom. Axtell says she has over 20 years experience in the field, and this is her third pet salon in Duluth. She was an original partner in Bark Avenue, which opened in 1996, and she also opened Pooch Paradise in 2004, which she owned until 2010.
Duluth has multiple golf courses for public use, but when the brutal winters hit, those courses don’t have much to offer. Co-owners Jamie Booterbaugh and Aucksone Somphouvieng opened the Sweet Spot last fall in the friendly West End, an indoor facility offering virtual golfing year-round. When the snow and the temperature drop, the Sweet Spot and its two virtual golf simulators offer over 80 golf courses to those who want to keep their clubs in use over the winter months. The location is 2908 W. Third St., near Harrison Park.
Open since late summer of 2014, the Canal Park Flea Market offers a venue for the buying and selling of a wide array of items, from sports memorabilia and video games to action figures and rock T-shirts. Located at 329 Canal Park Drive, across from the Inn on Lake Superior, this market offers items unlikely to be found in any department store. And in times of cold weather the “free winter clothing” bin is there to serve.
Oh Snap. Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum (a.k.a “The Cribs” a.k.a “Duluth Ice House”) seems to be melting away this winter. First the column went missing a few weeks ago and now the whole house seems to be doomed. Let’s hope Lake Superior Aquaman can fix this?
The March 9 issue of New Yorker includes a lengthy article titled “Break-in at Y-12,” which tells the story (with much digression) of Duluth’s Gregory Boertje-Obed and his role in the July 2012 break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Boertje-Obed, along with fellow Catholic Worker Movement activists Megan Gillespie Rice and former Duluthian Michael Walli, cut fences to enter the facility and spray-painted messages, poured blood and ceremonially chipped away at the foundation of a building that houses one of the largest stores of bomb-grade uranium in the world.