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Current Events Posts

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.

Heating towns using cold water

Does anyone know about this or understand it? A town in Norway is using cold water to create heat for its municipal heating system.

BBC News: Heat pumps extract warmth from ice cold water

This is not the same as pumping ground water through a building.

PDD News Sieve: Three not-really-so-new businesses

PetGroomingWhen 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.

SweetSpotDuluth 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.

CPFM

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.

Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum sinking

pic3

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?

New Yorker story features Duluth pacifist who broke into the “Fort Knox of Uranium”

New YorkerThe 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.

Northlanders: DLH wants you!

Commentary in the Duluth News Tribune:

Local View: Airport must think outside the box to reduce market leakage

Dave Hoops on Craft Conscious

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KME7BzBN_wY&t=51

Dave Hoops, master brewer at Duluth’s Fitger’s Brewhouse, was the interview subject today on Craft Conscious, a website that interviews craft beer experts, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Friend of Duluthian comes out of the woodwork

Duluth had another dateline in the Onion last week:

Long-silent Facebook friend comes out of woodwork with post asking about insulating windows

Green update for Duluth water infrastructure?

Duluth definitely has some gravity-fed municipal water lines running down the hill. Perhaps as we repair/replace our aging water lines we could make upgrades that will generate electricity.

Portland now generates electricity from turbines installed in city water pipes