Red Herring Lounge serving up food with tunes

Anna Hanson and Paul Wold

The Red Herring Lounge has made a name for itself as a music venue in Duluth and beyond. Since its inception three years ago, the bar has been serving up inventive cocktails along with a respectable list of wines and craft brews. Now it’s adding snacks and small plates to the menu.

It’s not the first time food has been available at the Herring. It’s been a regular spot for area food trucks and pop-up restaurants. The bar added a kitchen last year, which was used by the Juice Pharm and then Marita Pop Up. But there hasn’t been a consistent food option.

Bar manager Anna Hanson says she’s wanted to have regular food offerings for some time. “It’s the third year we’ve been open now and it’s time to offer something new. I think it’s really great that people will be able to come in and eat while they’re here. People should eat while they’re drinking,” she says.

Hanson, who used to own the Red Mug Coffeehouse, is doing much of the prep work, with help from Paul Wold. She’s been perfecting and testing recipes. Patrons can expect menu items like garlic and turmeric hummus, quesadillas with house-made pico de gallo and honey, fennel, roasted red pepper almonds.

The menu will consist of 6-8 items. Prices will be in the $4-10 range. “I plan to keep it simple, quick and easy. It will be super reasonable and also fresh and tasty,” says Hanson. “Since it’s a small menu, I’m really excited about switching things up and trying new things — seeing what people like.”

Having a catering license also allows the Herring to provide food at off-site events. It has already been serving beer and wine at venues like Sacred Heart. This opens up additional possibilities.

The Herring will have a soft opening for its food service during happy hour today. Hanson says they’ll have some snacks available at Saturday’s three-year anniversary celebration as well.

After that, food will be served Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., with extended hours and additional menu items like pizza on Friday and Saturday.

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