October 2013 Posts

Ugly Stick Saloon

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A splash of Coyote Ugly is in the city of Superior, just minutes off of the Bong Bridge on Belknap Street, in the former dining area of the Shack.

Check those hinges on windy days

Video Archive: KBJR Topline News and the Cheers party at the Western Tavern in 1993

This is the complete Topline News broadcast from May 20, 1993. You’ll notice it’s pretty short; that’s because from 1992 to 1998 KBJR experimented with an abbreviated 10 p.m. news program that ran about six minutes, not counting commercials, followed by a re-run of Roseanne with sports scores at bottom screen.

Credit card found in Chester Park

Found a credit card in the parking lot at Chester Park on October 4. If it’s yours, post a comment here to contact me (your return email is sent to me automatically when you comment).

Perfect Restaurant: New Scenic Café

You have to leave Duluth to get to its best restaurant. The New Scenic Café is located about three miles beyond the city’s northeastern border, in Duluth Township — roughly a 20-minute drive from the center of the Zenith City. It’s a drive Duluthians and tourists alike have been happy to take repeatedly during the 14 years since chef Scott Graden and his aunt Rita Bergstedt opened their contemporary American restaurant.

Above: New Scenic Owner Scott Graden

The location on the scenic North Shore Drive is a big part of the allure, but what’s so new about this 14-year-old café? The menu, that’s what. It’s always new, changing with the seasons. Today one might try the seared duck breast or ratatouille lasagna, while six months ago the lamb meatloaf was the temptation of the moment.

Sure, it’s the kind of place ham-and-eggers will make fun of, scoffing at the prices and snickering at the notion of an “heirloom” tomato, but it’s hard to be the best restaurant in the area without a hint of snootiness. At least it’s a North Shore brand of foodie snootiness, where your flannel shirt and/or socks with sandals will fit in just fine.

Props must go out to the runners up in this poll, because the voting was close. New Scenic edged out Zeitgeist Arts Café by two percentage points, and Zeitgeist edged out Duluth Grill by three percentage points. A bit behind the top three, but still pulling nearly 15 percent of the vote, was Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar.

PDD Awards Index

Duluth Demon

Just in time for Halloween the Duluth Demon emerges and has been seen lurking around UMD. It seems he was last seen terrorizing people in Bagley Park and has not broken character yet. An article from the UMD Statesman explains his presence. The demon can also be found on Facebook.

Outside Duluth

PDD local hero Brian Barber designed the cover of my new book. I think he did a good job. It makes me look like I know what I’m doing. You can buy a copy of Outside Duluth online via most major book retailers at my webpage.

Best Twin Ports Dining Deal Rooms

Can the PDD faithful help me find some private dining “deal room” options in the Twin Ports?

I’m tapped out on my short list of places to broker deals with customers and vendors. I often need to have a quiet area for two to six people to conduct business over a working lunch.

Some deals are very casual and low key, some not as much. Some are software demos and require a screen and projector — these are not very high-brow affairs, so …

Serve me up some critiques on food, atmosphere, memorable experience and privacy please.

Fashion Wagon – Minnesota Woolen

A vintage flannel caught my eye this afternoon while taking a break from work and strolling into the Wise Buys thrift store in Bellingham, Wash. I was shocked to see “Duluth, Minnesota” on the tag. Does anyone know where this was located? I have never heard of it before.  

A quick Google search shows the trademark was registered around 1960 and expired in 1987.

My arms are still itching from trying the shirt on.

A Case of Kid Cussedness from 1901

A Letter to the Editor at the Duluth News-Tribune on November 11, 1901:

I would respectively [sic] call the attention of the chief of police to an example of “Hoodlumism” on a street car in your city as I have never witnessed anywhere.

Surely the “kids” are under the surveillance of the police authorities, if the bums cannot be controlled.

Business relative to a burned building called me to Duluth Heights. When I returned to the city, just getting dark, half a dozen passengers came on the car; while passing a store, seven “kids” climbed aboard, and clear down to the incline gave such a specimen of cussedness that would never be tolerated on the Bowery.

Wrestling, scrapping, kicking and yelling, annoying all the passengers, even to insulting two women passengers by throwing one another’s dirty cans into the faces of the women!

You sure got that right, Chris Monroe

Seven Great Minnesota Fall Color Drives


Bob Berg wrote a great article in Lake Superior Magazine about “7 Great Fall Drives” to check out the changing colors. Let’s add to the list. What are some of your favorite Minnesota fall color drives in Duluth and along the South and North shores of Lake Superior? You can see the current fall color reports here.

I’ll start with the Temperance River road. The over-hanging canopy acts as a colorful tunnel as you make your way from Highway 61 north. You migth as well hit the Trestle Inn for a beer while your up in that area.

Perfect Duluth Soda?

So, I make Fizzy Waters a regular stop while I am in Canal Park, but it’s not the only place I get tasty sodas.

Duluth Playhouse Centennial Season

The Duluth Playhouse is celebrating its 100th season in 2013-’14.

East & West Duluth (September Holga)

Video by Eric Fryc.