R.I.P. Lakeview Castle Duluth

Lakeview Castle Duluth

Word on the street is the Lakeview Castle will be closing it doors.



about 13 years ago

Not too surprising. 

The Castle was suited for the 1970's supper club/steak dinner/martini era. It didn't really fit into the 2010 free-range tofu/lost-my-pension/"cutting back on travel" era. 

The cost of demolition will likely preclude re-birth anytime soon. Then again, it's a prime spot; I suppose a development conglomerate will buy the land as a long-term investment.


about 13 years ago

Agreed, Vicarious. I'd add that the food was very mediocore - greasy... salty.


about 13 years ago

They make the best White Russians in town. The Dude would abide.


about 13 years ago

You mean they make the best Caucasians in town....


about 13 years ago

I DJ'd there about a dozen times, maybe more the last 15 years so I got to know it pretty well. I picked up a story or two out of that, too.  One time I did a swinger's ball and mixer there.  The people hardly danced but they smoked like chimneys, the whole room was almost black, clearly some oral fixations in that crowd. They were really nice, though.  Friendly people those swingers.   

Once I was there for a company party that had rented out the whole restaurant section, we set up a dance floor right in the middle, but the floor was so saggy that whenever people got really into it, my 1st generation DJ CD players skipped like crazy, so I did almost the whole thing off of cassette tapes.  Yes, cassettes, to do that with seamless mixes is tough ... Even more memorable about that one is that the client was a local radio conglomerate this was when radio was still kind of local and still pretty big in terms of ad revenues and the like.  I was younger, there was an open bar, and it was fun getting hammered with a stack of quasi-famous local celebrities and their various trophy wives and hangers-on. Everyone was dressed up and this was considered a high class event for Duluth. 

In a related note, the drive was lovely in the day time and a big draw for Sunday drivers and the like, but going back down the shore was terrifying late at night and dangerous when you mix in a beer or three.  

We also had a few high school events there when it was newer and more glamorous in the late 80s.  At one time this was considered very "fancy" for Duluth, before it became ... whatever it became.   

I never liked the food there, either.  But I did like the shuffleboard in the bar and the unique stage location of the upstairs bar which is pictured above, saw a few good shows there even.  

The design of the building overall was like something that had been done on the back of a cocktail napkin. And I often wondered if that was the case.  Many updates were done over the years to bring it up to various codes from what I observed.   But there were some unique elements there, other than exterior castle-drawbridge motif.  One element that worked pretty well was the large, gleaming dance floor downstairs coupled with the low ceiling which made for very intimate (and loud) celebrations on one side and intimate (and quiet) conversation space on the other side of the bar.  I also loved the shuffleboard upstairs and the unique stage location of the above the bar which is pictured.  

They had a good run and it is always sad to see a business go down.  I'll be interested in seeing what happens next.


about 13 years ago

During the 10-year nasty battle to get nearby McQuade Harbor built, the Lakeview Castle owners were boosters of the project because, naturally, they thought it'd help their business. Guess not.
Three years of construction also caused a drop in business for the neighboring Gardenwood Motel, causing it to foreclose.


about 13 years ago

so this all begs the question...what would YOU do with the building? Is it for sale? How Much? I currently in favor of a medieval themed restaurant. Recreation of an 1100's Trappist monastery with a belgian-ish microbrewery and rock-a-billy stage and cafe' motorcycle club...kind of umburto eco meets monty python with super tasty beers...takers? backers?


about 13 years ago

I vote for an over priced hotel/lodge, some condos, and a Applebee's with a giant trout or chicken statue in front....


about 13 years ago

Scariest stage ever.  I'll miss it but I only went there once a year or so.


about 13 years ago

Good "buildering" at the Lakeview castle for all you climber-types.


about 13 years ago

Of course the North Shore will continue to decline into more development and crass commercialism. Applebees, Outback or any other strip mall food franchise for fat people will open with a killer view. Idiots will flock like seagulls.


about 13 years ago

Keep in mind that the Castle and the motel are separate.


about 13 years ago

I am a Commercial Realtor and I have Lakeview Castle for Sale, if any interest please feel free to contact me [email protected]


about 13 years ago

This is really sad news. I just learned of it yesterday and all the friends I had that used to go up there is sad today. That place had a nice breakfast on the weekends and even had a few decent sandwiches. Service in the bar was not good unless you sat at the bar but it had great atmosphere. It was never packed and I am sure winters hurt up there but I am hoping for a summer reopen for the season. I agree someone would buy it to commercialize it and I hate to see that happen. The shore is a peaceful place to go and rest. I have always enjoyed the time to rest and stay by the lake but I will not return when the commercialization comes in and ruins the area. We already lost Duluth Trailer and Tent, and now the Castle. I hope this place finds a way to reopen and stay on the North Shore.


about 13 years ago

I saw the "For Sale" come down on the Castle yesterday. Rumor is that the bar will be open mid August.  I know the old tables, stools, and booths are now at the Reef and the Twins, so if the Castle is to reopen it may finally get new furniture.  I hope the Big Split in the bar's arm rest gets fixed, too.


about 12 years ago

It has been sold and I am suppose to be up that way in October. I hope it is up and running. That place has been a fun place for me to go every trip I made up that way

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