Kaylee Matuszak’s Duluth Dive Bar Guide

Duluth’s Kaylee Matuszak delves into Duluth dive bars in an article published today in the Twin Cities alternative news website the Racket.

Perfect Duluth Day seems to have not published a rundown on dive bars since the klunky Movable Type era, when Barrett Chase asked in 2007, “What are your top 5 Twin Ports dives?” The inclusion of Superior allowed the Anchor, Charlie Brown’s and Belknap Lounge to get mentions. Numerous bars that no longer exist were also part of the discussion, along with a few places in nearby townships.


Paul Lundgren

about 8 months ago

This is a pretty solid list. Matuszak mentions right away that there are "plenty of good dives" she's not including, but off the top of my head I would say the only notable omissions are two bars across the street from each other in the Gary neighborhood -- the Limit and Shotz.

I think what constitutes a dive bar has changed in the craft beer era. A dive used to be a place that was either falling apart inside or had clientele that brought a sense of danger. These days just being a bar instead of a brewery or "tap house" is the primary qualifier. But still, not every straight-up old-school bar is a dive bar, and the reasoning behind that notion can get tricky to sum up.

For example: Why are the Rustic, Gopher and Kom-on-Inn considered dives and Mr. D's is not? I think it's because Mr. D's has a banquet room.


about 8 months ago

Thanks Paul!

From my research, I think Shotz and the Limit are both closed, but the Alpine still stands out in Gary! Haven't been out there to confirm for sure though. 

You read my mind about Mr. D's!

Paul Lundgren

about 8 months ago

Doh! I meant the Alpine but wrote the Limit. Yes, the Limit has been closed for quite a few years. If Shotz is closed it's news to me.

Mike Creger

about 8 months ago

Back in 2006, when Esquire named Nye's in MPLS as one of the best bars in America, for divey and nondivey reasons, Chuck Klosterman wrote a great ditty on what bars should NOT have. First and foremost:

1. Natural light. Bars are supposed to be womblike sanctuaries, separate from the blinding bleakness of mainstream society. They should always be poorly lit, and they should not have windows. If I'm drinking at 3:00 p.m., the sun should not remind me what time it is.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 months ago

I drove by Shotz today and there was a sign in the window that read "not open." Which I guess means it's closed.

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Read previous post:
Duluth Artificial Limb House

Long before Duluth had a House of Donuts it had a house of limbs. This ad is from the 1900...