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Current Events Posts

8-Bit Classic Collection brings back the oldies

8-bit Classic Collection

Out with the old video-game shop, in with the older video-game shop. After a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy the Game Galaxy store at 28 W. First St., Jim Mattson changed the focus and the name, opening 8-Bit Classic Collection on Feb. 1, specializing in vintage video games.

Duluthians conquer Switzerland’s “Wall of Death”!

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Congratulations to Rick Kollath and Dean Einerson who topped out this morning on the mythic North Face of the Eiger, one of the most sought-after plumbs in alpine climbing (even Clint Eastwood failed spectacularly here in The Eiger Sanction)! The Eiger has claimed more than its share in terms of sensational mountain tragedies, but you can’t keep a good team from the Great Plains down. This ascent is testimony to the physical and mental grit of these two paragons of Duluth climbing, not to mention the world-class local training facilities at Superior Kettlebell Gym and Casket Quarry. Well done, lads!

Homegrown Field Guide 2015

Homegrown Field Guide 2015

Apparently this thing is hitting the streets today.

The Red Door brightens Duluth’s East Hillside

Photos by Jamie Merideth

Photos by Jamie Merideth

Hibbing native Sharon Kangas has been a Head Start teacher and cosmetologist. Now she’s an entrepreneur. In September 2013 she opened the Red Door, an ornate consignment shop in Duluth’s East Hillside neighborhood.

Jade Fountain purchased by owner of neighboring restaurant

Jade Fountain

Bill KalligherBill Kalligher has been owner of Gannucci’s Italian Market for four years. During that time the three-decades old West Duluth eatery expanded in both size and scope, and in October was featured on the cable television show Diners, Drive-in and Dives. Last week Kalligher expanded his holdings by acquiring one of the area’s oldest restaurants, Jade Fountain.

Located at 305 N. Central Ave., two doors down from Gannucci’s, Jade Fountain has been a staple in West Duluth since George Wong opened it in 1968. Wong sold it in 1997 to Sick Cheung Lee, who had just immigrated to the United States. Lee died in November and his widow Kwok Chun Mak was looking to sell.

Popular Minneapolis chef will open resort restaurant in Pengilly

Sarah MasterSarah Master has announced she will leave her position as executive chef at Minneapolis’ Café Barbette to open a restaurant and resort 75 miles outside of Duluth in the Iron Range city of Penguilly. Her partner in the venture is Dan Beckwith, who had been working as the financial controller of Bryant-Lake Company.

Mr. Roberts Resort is expected to open on June 1 at 28179 East Shore Drive. A news release announcing the plans refers to it as “a unique combination of a full-service restaurant, bar, cabins and RV sites, all situated in a bucolic setting on Swan Lake in Northern Minnesota.”

Easter Sunday Fire at Applewood Knoll Apartments

Photo by David Heinecke

Photo by David Heinecke

A Facebook page has been established for “Donations for the victims of the Easter fire Duluth MN.”

Leaning Tower of Enger

Breaking News

Thanks to Eric Plumb for tipping us off on this breaking news. Fox 21 is confirming the story right now by sending someone to shoot footage of Enger Tower standing perfectly upright.

Play Pac-Man through the streets of Duluth

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.

PhTSD

West Duluth Pizza Hut

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?

6.5-million Bottles of Beer on the Wall: A tally of annual craft brew production in the Duluth area

Schlemiel Schlimazel

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.

It should also be noted that while the 2014 production figures might seem impressive, it is a far cry from the amount of beer produced in this neck of the woods back in the good old days. In the 1940s, for example, the old Fitger’s Brewing Company was producing about 100,000 barrels all by itself — and it was far from the only brewery in the region. (Zenith City Online notes numerous defunct Duluth breweries in its feature “Commercial Beer Brewing in Duluth (1850s–1970s).”) With that perspective stated, here is Perfect Duluth Day’s list of craft breweries/brewpubs and their stats.

Bent Paddle BrewingBent 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 

Fitger's BrewhouseFitger’s Brewhouse
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) 

Duluth ranks among “Best College Towns to Live in Forever”

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.

22 - Duluth MN

Coming to America

Sharita Turner

In which Karl Ove Knausgaard’s NYT series about travelling to the United States visits Duluth, Superior and more.

My Saga, Part 2: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Passage Through America

PDD News Sieve: King of Creams, Tycoons, Sala Thai

The King of CreamsCourtland 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 vs Slippery NoodleTycoons 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.

Sumlee BeedeThe 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 moving to Duluth Airpark

Walker Display

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.