Duluth’s Merry Inn Tavern (Net Results)

Among the random things to show up in my e-mail today (thanks Jake and Wendy) is this photo of an old (and awesome) ashtray from the Merry Inn Tavern. The address, 917 W. Michigan St., would have been roughly where Mesaba Avenue meets I-35 today.

The Merry Inn Tavern and Michelizzi’s Italian Food grocery store were part of the Terminal Hotel throughout the 1960s. The whole works was operated by Michael Michelizzi until about 1973, which is probably when the building was torn down.

The name “Terminal Hotel” goes back at least as far as 1930, although city directories in the 1930s and ’40s often refer to the property simply as “furnished rooms.”

Michelizzi’s reign at the Terminal seems to have begun in the early 1930s. In the 1920s there is a listing for two blocks away, 1131 W. Michigan St., for Mike Michelizzi & Co., a store handling “Fancy and Staple groceries cigars tobaccos and fancy Italian imported goods Macamoni and Soft Drinks.” I’m not sure if there’s a fancy, little-known Italian item called “Macamoni” or if that’s supposed to be macaroni.

In the early 1900s, the Cholette Hotel was at 917 W. Michigan St. During Prohibition, it had a “soft drink parlor” at which, obviously, bootlegging took place. For some of the sordid details regarding that, read the comments to this post.

14 Comments

Tamara

about 12 years ago

I knew Mike Michelizzi. Nice guy. Veteran.

adam

about 12 years ago

Net Results was painted by Gil Elvgren in 1941. He was born in St. Paul and attended the U of M and the Minneapolis Art Institute before moving on to Chicago and eventually settling in Florida. One of the most prolific pin-up artists of the period, he worked for Brown & Bigelow calendar publishers of St. Paul for nearly three decades and helped to define the entire pin-up / glamor girl genre.

zra

about 12 years ago

I did a temp turn @ Brown and Bigelow's calendar press.

His pinups are pretty famous. Did a lot of classy nudes, too. I think we had a desk calendar a few years back with Elvgren's work. I remember noting the B&B stamp on many of the pictures.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Here is the earliest clip PDD's fairy research superstar could dig up regarding the Cholette Hotel, from the July 15, 1909, Duluth News Tribune:

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Two years later, Mr. Eli H. Cholette's problems with the law begin. From the Oct. 29, 1911, Duluth News Tribune:

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Here's a charming little item from the June 7, 1916, Duluth News Tribune.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

From Nov. 20, 1916: 



And Nov. 22, 1916:


Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

And now the Cholette shenanigans of 1917.

April 20: 



April 24:



May 17:



June 8:



September 13:

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

And into 1918 the fun continues ...

February 26:



February 28:

Spy1

about 12 years ago

If I were to open a bar in Duluth, I'd call it the Blind Pig.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Indeed, the Blind Pig Bar at the Terminal Hotel would pretty much be perfect.

Anyway, onward with the history. Here's a bootlegging story about another West End hotel, from the Dec. 21, 1921 Duluth News Tribune.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

And here's one from Sept. 16, 1922 -- a 917 W. Michigan St. story with a truly happy ending:

Vanessa Warbler

about 7 years ago

My great-grandfather's brother, John Wappler/Wabler/Warbler (known as Wabler in Duluth) lived for a number of years at 917 W. Michigan.  He died single and childless in 1931, being born in 1860/1 at Copper Falls, Keweenaw County, Michigan.

Paul Lundgren

about 2 hours ago



In the June 9, 1923 issue of the Duluth Rip-saw, Mike Michelizzi faces the poison pen of the paper's publisher, John L. Morrison.

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