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Lissa Maki Posts

The Boat Club Restaurant & Bar to replace Midi

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Jason Vincent

After one last New Year’s Eve celebration, Midi shuttered its doors for good. But the prime location the restaurant occupied in the lower level of the historic Fitger’s Brewery Complex, with its patio and unparalleled lake view, won’t be dormant for long.

Renovations are already underway for the Boat Club Restaurant & Bar, a fine dining establishment set to open in Midi’s old space Valentine’s Day weekend.

O’Neill’s Pub and Liquor in Superior is closed

oneills-pub-superior-wiAfter 23 years in business, the owners of O’Neill’s Pub and Liquor closed its doors after ringing in the new year with customers on Saturday.

The laid back Irish pub at 3333 Tower Avenue in Superior featured weekly $1 tap beer and $2 Bloody Mary specials and had the distinction of being Superior’s only drive-through liquor store.

In 2014, Thrillest touted O’Neill’s as one of the top ten drive-through liquor stores in the country. Wisconsin is one of only six states where this modern convenience is legal.

New Vietnamese restaurant open in Superior

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Fans of phở have a new place to enjoy the savory Vietnamese soup. Phở Cali Vietnamese Noodles Restaurant opened Dec. 17 in the former Lan Chi’s building at 1320 Belknap St. in Superior.

Brewhouse gets new master brewer

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Ted Briggs, the new brew master at Fitger’s Brewhouse

Just Take Action announced Ted Briggs as the new master brewer for Fitger’s Brewhouse this week. “Mr. Briggs will continue to build on the great legacy of quality Lake Superior craft beer first initiated by Dave Hoops and later, Frank Kaszuba,” the company stated in a news release.

Downtown eatery supports aviation education

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Lark o’ the Lake Café is an eatery with an unusual secondary purpose: to promote aviation education. “The Lark,” as it’s more commonly known, celebrated a year in business last month.

Sandra Ettestad, Mark Marino and Don Monaco own the restaurant at 231 E. Superior St. in the Greysolon Plaza. All three are trustees of the Duluth Aviation Institute and founders of its Gilruth Continuum Path to Aviation program.

ARCO Coffee celebrates 100 years

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It’s remarkable for a family-owned business to withstand a century’s worth of cultural and economic changes, not to mention several generations of leaders. But Superior’s ARCO Coffee Company has reached this monumental achievement—100 years in business.

G.A. Andresen and W.J. Ryan founded the business in Duluth in 1916 as Andresen Ryan Coffee Company. Their names were later combined into the acronym ARCO.

Pita Pit opens Monday in Downtown Duluth

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Monday marks the grand opening of Duluth’s first Pita Pit at 425 W. Superior St. in the new Maurices building. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. The restaurant will be giving away samples and coupons during the grand opening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pita Pit’s tagline is “Fresh thinking. Healthy eating.” Company spokesperson Monica Hendrickson says the franchise offers a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food. She calls it “faster food” since pitas are made to order, similar to Subway sandwich shops.

Perfect Bakery: Duluth’s Best Bread

pddperfectbakeryawardlogoThe business with the audacity to call itself Duluth’s Best Bread clearly is living up to its name. Not only does it have the best bread, it’s Duluth’s best general bakery according to Perfect Duluth Day’s poll. It took the title of Perfect Bakery with 38 percent of the vote among the final four.

The relative newcomer celebrated its one-year anniversary in September. Brothers Michael and Robert Lillegard, a trained mathematician and a writer, respectively, founded the nontraditional bakery.

Duluth’s Best Bread has limited storefront hours and a subscription service. It features a small menu of products carefully perfected by Michael, such as sourdough bread, croissants, cinnamon rolls and pretzels.

Poll: Best Bakery in the Duluth Area

get-bakedWith your help, we’ve compiled a list of swoon-worthy bakeries in the Duluth area.

It’s a highly subjective exercise. It may be that a fruit tart warms your heart or a cake donut pleases your gut. Whatever the case, it’s time to make a show of support for your favorite purveyor of sweet and glutenous treats.

The nominations are in. Now it’s time to vote and have a say. What’s the Perfect Duluth-area bakery?

This is a runoff poll, which means options will be whittled down over time. We started with 14 nominees; it’s now down to the Final Four: Duluth’s Best Bread, Johnson’s Bakery, Lake Superior Bakehouse and Zenith Bread Project.

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Duluth’s Best Bread – 38 percent
Zenith Bread Project – 27 percent
Johnson’s Bakery – 20 percent
Lake Superior Bakehouse – 15 percent

What is the best Duluth-area bakery?

baked-goodsThe decline of the corner bakery in modern America could be considered one of the greatest food-related tragedies of our time. An 85 percent decrease in standalone retail bakeries occurred in the United States over the past 40 years, according to Retail Bakers of America.

With this in mind, it seems important to show our local bakeries some love. That’s why our latest poll will decide the perfect Duluth bakery.

Nominate your favorite by commenting on this post. It will be a purely subjective poll, of course. Comparing an old-school institution stocked with traditional sweets like Long Johns and Bismarcks and a newfangled shop specializing in artisan breads and delicate pastries is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but the idea is to choose an overall favorite.

Feel free to nominate bakeries that double as coffee shops and serve food or the supermarket variety, if you’re so inclined.

After much geographical consideration, we’ve determined any bakery within 16 miles of the Aerial Lift Bridge is eligible for nomination. That means establishments in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the many bordering townships qualify for nomination, but more distant places like Two Harbors and Cloquet do not.

Once we have a good pool of nominees, the poll will commence.

Avenue C restaurant in Cloquet could open by year’s end

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Doug Smith anticipates Avenue C, his new Cloquet restaurant, will open soon. The build-out was about 70 percent complete when it hit some financing snags that delayed the process. Work has now resumed and he estimates the establishment could be up and running by Christmas.

Bagels, coffee and pizza coming to Endion

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A co-branded Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels will open in a new luxury apartment complex that’s been quickly taking shape in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood.

Farmhouse brewery under construction near Duluth

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A distinctive brewery is under construction a few miles southeast of Duluth in Midway Township. Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery specializes in mixed fermentation, a method of brewing that yields a class of beers commonly referred to as “sours.”

Duluth-area happy hour food and drink deals to last the week

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After a busy day, it’s tough to muster up the energy to cook a meal. But going out to eat and drink regularly is expensive. The good news? If you plan it right, you can drink and dine at plenty of local places any day of the week for 10 bucks or less. Here’s a daily planner for sampling of some of the best happy hour specials in Duluth and Superior.

Moose Lake Brewing selling big ol’ cans called ‘crowlers’

Moose Lake Brewing crowlers

Moose Lake Brewing Company started selling 24 oz. crowlers this week. For those unfamiliar with the term, a crowler is an oversized can, which is filled on site, much like a growler.