Northern Waters Smokehaus announced today a second location will open in the Mount Royal Shopping Center in Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood, near the UMD campus. The space at 1608 Woodland Ave. was previously occupied by Bixby’s Café, which operated there from 1997 to the end of 2014.
Founded in 1998, Northern Waters specializes in smoked fish. Its tiny shop in the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace has won numerous awards over the years, including PDD’s Perfect Lunch Restaurant. The new location at Mount Royal is expected to open in the fall.
Bill 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.
Sarah 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.”
Allyson Rolph, head brewer at Thirsty Pagan Brewing in Superior, discusses spruce tips, Lake Superior, her pathway into a male-dominated field and just about everything else in the latest issue of Minnesota’s craft-beer lifestyle magazine, The Growler.
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.
I am looking for a place in Duluth to read a book and enjoy a beer. Are there any bars/pubs that you recommend which have more of a quiet and calm atmosphere? I enjoy reading at coffee houses, but when it’s the evening I’d much prefer a beer over a coffee or tea.
Inspired by the Duluth Button Collection, Perfect Duluth Day now presents the Duluth Matchbook Collection — a gallery of small cardboard folders with a striking surface on one side, featuring images promoting select enterprises of the Arrowhead region.
Something curious popped up in the last couple months, via Facebook.
Finally, a burrito joint in the Twin Ports. I’ve been waiting so long … hopefully Chipotle catches the hint?
If this is actually real, it’s interesting how the Duluth burrito market went from 0 to saturated in a matter of months. Sure, we had/still have Burrito Union, but I haven’t ever exactly heard rave reviews for the place, nor have I ever generated rave reviews myself after going there. The two new burrito establishments are handy to have around for decent food in a quick pinch, but nothing earth-shattering. I frequent one or the other a couple times per month. I haven’t bothered to set foot in Burrito Union in at least two or three years.
After creeping the corporate website for this new Sweeto Burrito, it appears that its food differs vastly from the current three options, but perhaps not in a good way. The tacos look OK, but the ambitious burrito combinations don’t exactly seem to be my cup of tea. If this new restaurant comes to fruition, will it hold its own against the other players? How many burritos can a smallish city consume? Apparently a lot, judging by the line that forms outside the Chipotle almost every time I drive by.
Duluth Grill is looking to expand its local suppliers and is specifically interested in a place to find lamb … as well as other good local products. The restaurant spent over $399,000 with local farms and businesses last year, and is looking to expand.
The Spirit Room, a 1,000-square-foot drinking establishment with a tapas menu featuring just a dozen items, came out on top in Perfect Duluth Day’s poll to name the area’s best new restaurant. Tavern on the Hill, a full-menu eatery with literally 10 times the square footage of the Spirit Room, placed a distant second.
The vital task of naming the best new restaurant in the Duluth area begins with this elimination round of voting. Choose your favorite among the 16 options below; the top vote getters will move on to the final round.
What is the best new restaurant in the Duluth area?
This poll is now closed. Three restaurants will advance to the final ballot:
Shorty’s Pizza and Smoked Meat
Spirit Room Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Tavern on the Hill
Before we open the voting, of course, we have to establish a list of nominees. What qualifies as a new restaurant? Well, these have all opened in the past two years:
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (Oct. 2014)
Izzy’s BBQ Lounge & Grill (Aug. 2014)
Tavern on the Hill (August 2014)
Iron Mug Coffeehouse (July 2014)
Endion Station Public House (July 2014)
Qdoba Mexican Grill (July 2014)
Miller Hill Chipotle (June 2014)
Spirit Room Tapas Bar & Restaurant (June 2014)
Cloud 9 Asian Bistro (June 2014)
Farley’s Grill (April 2014)
Shorty’s Pizza and Smoked Meat (Aug. 2013)
Citys 58th Street Diner (June 2013)
What territory are we talking about? Anything in Duluth or 10 miles of its border – so new restaurants in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the various bordering townships all qualify; Two Harbors and Cloquet are out of bounds.
Are there any good nominees we didn’t think to include in the list above?
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.