Postcards and Relics from the Duluth Flame Restaurant

This undated postcard shows off one of Duluth’s best-remembered restaurants, the Flame, which operated off-and-on at multiple locations in various forms from the 1930s to the 1980s. At the time of the postcard above, the Flame was at 353 S. Fifth Ave. W., where the Great Lakes Aquarium is today. The Flame operated on the waterfront from 1946 to 1973 and reopened there in 1983.

The text on the back of the card above reads:

From the Flame’s glassed-in dining room, you see a beautiful view of the harbor with its passing ships that will long be remembered.

The original Flame was located at 14th Ave. E. and London Road, as shown in the 1940s-era postcard below.

This card, published by Kreiman’s Lyceum News & Bookstore, has the following text on the back:

Northwest’s Finest-Known From Coast to Coast
14th at London Road, Duluth, Minnesota

We have grown from a Barbecue Stand to the N.W.’s Finest Restaurant (The Home of the Magic Rooster Bar and Chick Room). Surrounded by Natural Beauty, overlooking the FLAME’S beautiful natural gardens. You dine amid splendor, beauty and comfort to enjoy our famous Steaks, Chicken, Ribs or Fish Dinners, prepared to satisfy the palate of the most exacting epicureans.

For more information on the history of the Flame, pick up a copy of the book Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood.

A recent Mystery Photo on Perfect Duluth Day focused on buildings near the Flame Restaurant, and features a variety of aerial photos that the include it in the frame.

The above image, shot by Charles Curtis in the 1980s, shows the Flame surrounded by RVs during an Airstream rally.

Minnesota Reflections titles the above image Aerial Lift Bridge: Higgins Overlook, Duluth, Minnesota and dates it Sept. 1, 1972. The photographer is Elizabeth Goodsell.

Below, a few random Flame relics.



about 5 years ago

And just to continue the Mystery photo bent a little, what was this building before it became the Flame? It kind of looks like a standard warehouse building from that "Jobbers" era. It's last use was as the Lake Superior Center before it was torn down for the Aquarium construction.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

From the story:

The three-story fire proof building—designed in 1912 by renown Duluth architect Frederick German—originally housed the Duluth Marine Supply Company, a grocery retail firm specializing in selling foods to Lake Superior vessels. By 1936 Duluth Marine Supply had moved; the building remained a grocery warehouse until Oreck bought it and hired architect Harold St. Clair Starin to convert it into The Flame.


about 5 years ago

Aha, thanks. I used to sit on those sunny carpeted stairs in the lobby and plan programs about Lake Superior for kids in the 1990s. It looks like nothing much changed for years after it closed, except for displays about the Great Lakes on the main floor.

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