Restaurants Posts

Ten Years Ago: The End of Salsafication in Duluth

ChiChi

On this date in history — Sept. 19, 2004 — Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurante in Duluth closed following corporate bankruptcy. It had been located in the Fitger’s Brewery Complex for 20 years. Baja Billy’s Cantina and Grill replaced it in 2005, but closed four years later. Mexico Lindo opened in April 2010 and remains there today.

Toasty’s on East Ninth now open

ToastysNight_MG_9732

The sign on the building has been up since last Spring, and now Toasty’s is open.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Address: 1032 E. Ninth St.
Owners: Rachael and Tom Hagen

Iron Mug Coffee House in Morgan Park

There is a new coffee shop, deli and pizza place in Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood — and it also happens to be the only coffee shop or restaurant of any kind in that neighborhood.

Iron Mug opened on July 30 in the old Lakeview Store building, which was constructed in 1916 to serve as one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States. The building once housed a grocery store and post office, among other things. The largest major tenant in recent years was Advantage Emblem & Screen Printing, which was located in the building from about 1991 to 2008, before moving to the corner of Haines and Arrowhead roads, near the airport.

Some Iron Mug facts:

  • Owned by: Felisha and Brandon Johnson
  • Address: 1096 88th Ave. W.
  • Phone: 218-464-5408
  • Coffee served: Backroads brand from Hayward
  • Hours: Open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Swamp Sisters of Saginaw

About a half-hour drive northwest of Duluth, in the unincorporated community of Saginaw, Swamp Sisters summer restaurant kicks out breakfast and lunch grub to fleets of mostly white-haired patrons who fill the gravel driveway with their cars and assisted-living-community shuttle vans. It’s open for about two months each year, on Fridays and Saturdays only, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the swampy old Armstrong farmstead. And all of that, of course, makes this place awesome.

A Dozen Excuses Donuts on Tower Avenue

A Dozen Excuses opened on Wednesday, serving donuts, coffee, sandwiches, coney dogs, etc. at 1112 Tower Ave., in the Still-point Building next to the Palace Bar in Superior. It’s the former location of Northwoods Guitar.

  • Open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday;
    8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday
  • Phone: 218-409-2525
  • Owners: Melissa Hyatt and Cliff Lindberg
  • Baker: Joe Dougherty

Guy Fieri in West Duluth and Superior

Guy Fieri is back in town shooting for future episodes of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. So far he’s been to Gannucci’s Italian Market and Pak’s Green Corner in West Duluth, and Shorty’s Pizza & Smoked Meats and the Kounty Quarthouse in Superior.

Endion Station Public House opening soon

Endion Station Public House is opening July 25. It will serve pulled-meat sandwiches and Brewhouse beer in the historic train depot on the Lakewalk, and there are plans for live music on the patio.

Spirit Room Tapas Bar & Restaurant is open

Spirit Room Tapas Bar & Restaurant opened on Monday in the Trade and Commerce Marketplace in Superior. It’s a classy joint, from the tapas on down to the intricate details in the mural. Check out the menu …

New food truck: The Happy Wanderer

The Happy Wanderer is a food truck that will soon be hitting the streets of Duluth selling specialty egg rolls. To learn more visit the Kickstarter page.

Cloud 9 Asian Bistro is open

Cloud 9 Asian Bistro opened on Monday in the Canal Park spot formerally occupied by Thia Krathong — 308 S. Lake Ave. It’s owned by the Wang family, the same folks behind the Duluth Osaka Sushi Hibachi Steakhouse in the Burning Tree Plaza. If last night was any indication, Cloud 9 a very quiet place to eat, and the food is excellent.

Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse: A few pre-fire photos of the adjoining bar

The May 11 fire that destroyed the processing area of Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse in Knife River didn’t do much damage to the adjoining bar area, but nonetheless I thought I’d share some pre-fire snapshots I took of it in the fall of 2012, before it got “smoked” … so to speak. (The shot above is obviously of the fire, taken from the smokehouse’s Facebook page.)

What is Toasty’s on Ninth Street?

Formerly Chet’s (corner store), formally 8th Street Video on 9th (Steve’s), formally 8th Street Video on 9th (mainstream), formally Mean Beans Espresso & Creams is now looking to be something called Toasty’s. Does anyone know what this new venture will reveal itself to be? Will it be a toast joint? It’s a thing I guess.

Ummm … seriously? Arby’s is airing a 13-hour Duluth-only commercial?

So, according to this Slate article, not only is Arby’s showing a 13-hour commercial, but it’s only airing in Duluth.

Arby’s is airing 13 straight hours of smoked brisket on television

I checked the date, and it’s not April 1, and I don’t think the NSA has gone so low as to manipulate my poor MacBook Air to fool me.

Jefferson People’s House

In a world where people, food and information are treated like commodities, a new worker-owned cooperative wants to turn them back into things that build local connections. After many years of people wanting a radical bookstore/café and a progressive community incubator in Duluth, we’ve come together to start the Jefferson People’s House, a democratic worker-owned, collectively managed space.

The motto: Coffee – Books – Social Justice – Toast

Farley’s Grill in Downtown Duluth

Farley’s Grill opened two weeks ago at the old Mr. Nick’s location — 220 W. Superior St. in Downtown Duluth.

The Duluth News Tribune reports: “A new lease worked out with building owner Nick Patronas — Mr. Nick himself — commits (owners Kelly and Elizabeth Trumpold) to 7½ years.”