Duluth’s beatnik coffee house had short life in 1960

Late in 1960, University of Minnesota Duluth student Bert Frink opened a beatnik coffee shop in Duluth called Bert’s Bit. It didn’t last long.

The location was 421 W. Superior St., where the Maurices headquarters is today. The shop opened on Dec. 2 and was closed by Dec. 8 “pending a decision from the State Liquor Control Commissioner on whether coffee flavored with rum and brandy extracts violate state liquor laws,” according to an article in the Duluth Herald newspaper.

The historical trail runs cold there, with no evidence the shop ever reopened.


Dave Sorensen

about 1 year ago

I'd love to see some historical info about The Orpheum coffee house which hosted lots of music and other events in the 1980s in the Temple Opera building downtown. That was a fun scene. I've only seen it mentioned in passing in an old PDD post.


about 1 year ago

Unfortunately the Duluth public library doesn't seem to have anything on the Orpheum Cafe. There's a nice blast from the past at thirdav.com. It seems that Husker Du played there in 1985.

Mike Creger

about 1 year ago

There's a poster for that Husker Du show at Carmody.

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