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Lissa Maki Posts

Duluth Folk School finds home; plans to open Dovetail Café

Since offering its first class a year ago, Duluth Folk School has been largely nomadic. Appropriately enough, it recently found a home in the burgeoning Lincoln Park Craft District. A teaching kitchen and café are among the many plans for the massive space at 1917 W. Superior St.

New operator will reopen Crabby Ol’ Bill’s by June

Starting in June, Duluthians and tourists will once again be able to get their mini doughnut fix out of a retired fishing vessel in Canal Park.

The fate of Crabby Ol’ Bill’s snack shack remained in question after Steve and Susan Smith announced they would be closing it back in December after five years running the business. Last week, the Duluth City Council approved a lease for developer Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners to operate the seasonal food stand based within the Nels J, an iconic boat that sits adjacent to the boardwalk near the North Pier Lighthouse.

Annual Duluth-area beer production hits one million gallons

At the end of 2016 there were seven craft breweries in Duluth and nine more across the region. Another six are in the planning or soon-to-open stages in 2017. In the two years since Perfect Duluth Day conducted its first tally of the region’s beer production the total barrel output has grown from roughly 20,000 to nearly 35,000. That equates to more than one million gallons of craft beer locally brewed in 2016. By other measurements, it’s about 70,000 kegs, more than 8 million pints or more than 11 million 12-ounce bottles and cans.

The largest contributors to the recent growth were Bent Paddle Brewing and Castle Danger Brewing. Bent Paddle doubled its output over the past two years while Castle Danger grew six fold. Meanwhile, Moose Lake Brewing launched operations, Blacklist Artisan Ales opened a taproom and started canning, and South Shore Brewery opened an additional brewery and tasting room in Washburn.

In the year ahead, the brewing landscape is set to shift dramatically with the opening of a half-dozen new operations in the region. Newbies in the immediate Twin Ports area will be Hoops Brewing in Canal Park, Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery in Midway Township and Earth Rider in Superior. The Iron Range, home to only one brewing business in 2016 — the Boathouse in Ely — could soon welcome three more. Rapids Brewing Company and Cantankerous Brewing are in the works for Grand Rapids, while Boomtown Brewery plans to open at the former Zimmy’s Bar and Restaurant location in Hibbing.

Below is a breakdown of the 2016 stats.
 

Bent Paddle BrewingBent Paddle Brewing
30-barrel brewery and taproom, founded in 2013
1912 W. Michigan St., Duluth
Colin & Laura Mullen + Bryon & Karen Tonnis, co-founders; Charles Brodell, head brewer; Brent Rowe, regional sales manager; Pepin Young, taproom manager
2016 production: 15,700 barrels 

Castle-Danger-BreweryCastle Danger Brewery
30-barrel brewery and taproom; brewery founded in 2011, taproom opened in 2014
17 Seventh St., Two Harbors
Clint and Jamie MacFarlane, owners; Lon and Mandy Larson, owners
2016 production: 9,200 barrels (est. for 2017: 14,000 bbl)

Fitger's BrewhouseFitger’s Brewhouse
10-barrel brewery supplying six pubs and a retail store, founded in 1995
600 E. Superior St., Duluth
Rod Raymond, owner; Ted Briggs, master brewer
2016 production: 1,862 barrels

Duluth’s first vegan blog launches on Earth Day

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Ellen Vaagen, photo by Wolfskull Creative

Ellen Vaagen, the sassy, dreadlocked woman known affectionately around town as “Crafty Ellen,” is launching Vaagen’s Vegan Sauce, the Twin Ports’ first vegan blog on April 22.

The launch party will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Red Herring Lounge and feature sample platters of Vaagen’s vegan snacks, along with free recipe cards.

Spring 2017 Duluth-area Beer Festival Primer

Beer-Fest

The United States now boasts over 5,000 craft breweries as the thirst for quality beer continues. The Twin Ports are clearly part of the trend. Duluth and Superior are home to eight breweries, with two more planning to launch in 2017. Several others dot the north and south shores of Lake Superior. The great news for beer aficionados: there’s no shortage of local beer and opportunities to taste the latest batches. The next three major swillfests are highlighted here.

Duluth Coffee Company expansion underway

DuluthCoffee

Duluth Coffee Company is expanding its footprint on the 100 block of East Superior Street with plans for a major upgrade to its roasting operations and more space for events and education.

The coffee roasting business and over-the-counter java shop has occupied 105 E. Superior St. since 2012. Owner Eric Faust recently took over the former BB Makeup location two doors down at 101 E. Superior St. and renovation work there is underway. When the project is completed, Duluth Coffee will move its roasting operations into the new location on the corner of the block while retaining the original coffee-shop space.

Zenith Bread Project takes baking to a new level

AmandaBelcherZenithBread

Like many young entrepreneurs creating their own opportunities in Duluth, Amanda Belcher hasn’t had a straightforward career trajectory. She started studying exercise physiology at the College of St. Scholastica. Instead of continuing on to graduate school, she decided to become a professional baker.

Her Zenith Bread Project produces sweet treats sold at Amity Coffee, Duluth Coffee Company and Snooty Fox Tea Shop. Bagels and English muffins are also available at Whole Foods Co-op. Bent Paddle Brewing‘s taproom occasionally serves Belcher’s soft pretzels with beer, and Blacklist Artisan Ales features her doughnuts and pastries on Saturdays.

Marita Pop Up resumes regular schedule at Red Herring

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Nyanyika Banda – photo by Ivy Vainio

Most people wouldn’t dream of creating a taco with ingredients like apple and kabocha squash, much less topping it with micro greens, pepitas, roasted tomatillo crema, pickled mustard and red onion. Then again, most people don’t have chef Nyanyika Banda’s imagination and culinary chops.

Banda is the proprietor of Marita Pop Up, a “globally inspired, locally sourced” pop-up restaurant that travels around the Duluth area, popping up at various locations and events. In March, Marita Pop Up began a regular schedule at the Red Herring Lounge on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Veggies by Subscription: CSA signup season underway in Duluth

Carrot - ParsnipIt might seem too early to be thinking about fresh local vegetables. The growing season around Lake Superior doesn’t generally start until May, but area farmers are already busy planning their crops and ordering seeds. The signup period has begun for most farms offering community supported agriculture subscriptions. The online CSA Signup Day is today, Feb. 24; Duluth’s CSA open house is March 19.

Farm shares offer a direct method for consumers to access fresh food from local growers. Members buy a seasonal “share” from the farm. During harvest time, which is generally mid-June to mid-December, members go to a designated spot each week to pick up a box of mixed seasonal produce.

Carnivores rejoice: OMC Smokehouse opens

OMCCrewFor more than two years, Duluth carnivores have been salivating at the prospect of OMC Smokehouse, Tom Hanson’s new restaurant venture. The wait will be over when OMC opens Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Juice Pharm taking over Vintage Kitchen space

JuicePharm

Set aside the biscuits and gravy, and get ready for freshly squeezed. The Juice Pharm has announced it’s taking over the space formerly occupied by Vintage Kitchen at 12 S. 15th Ave. E.

Avenue C restaurant opens in Cloquet

Avenue C in CloquetThe long-awaited Avenue C restaurant in Cloquet will open its doors to the public on Monday, Jan. 23.

Perfect Duluth Day reported in November the eatery was on track to open by Christmas, but delays in deliveries and construction pushed the date back. General Manager Ryan Kolak says, “We’re here and kicking now.”

Lucky’s 13 Pub open at Miller Hill Mall

Luckys13_1

Drinking and dining options at Miller Hill Mall will improve by month’s end. Lucky’s 13 Pub is set to open at 1600 Miller Trunk Highway on Jan. 30. Duluthians will barely recognize the space, which was occupied for 25 years by Old Country Buffet.

The Boat Club Restaurant & Bar to replace Midi

jasonvincentboatclub

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.