After 20 years in business, the Timber Lodge Steakhouse in Canal Park is calling it quits. Bruce Taher, CEO of Timber Lodge’s parent company, Taher Inc., says he regrets having to make the decision. He hoped to close the restaurant for the winter and reopen it this spring, but a number of challenges precipitated the restaurant’s demise.
Taher says business hasn’t been good enough lately to support the massive, 350-seat restaurant and its expensive Canal Park lease. Taher cites parking issues as another problem. He says the building started renting spots to office clients, reducing the restaurant’s available parking and leading to frustrated customers. Additionally, he lists market saturation as a problem, particularly in Canal Park’s off season.
“Canal Park is a wonderful attraction, but unfortunately, it’s a bit removed from the local community. It’s difficult to rely on local families to come to dine with us. We were more dependent on tourists,” says Taher.
Taher Inc. is a food service management company, providing meals for schools, businesses, senior facilities and the like. The company operates two other Timber Lodge Steakhouse locations in Owatonna and Bloomington. It also runs Forepaugh’s Restaurant, an upscale eatery in St. Paul. There are no plans for another Duluth restaurant location.
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