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Lissa Maki Posts

Wunderbar: a new place to eat, stay and play in Grand Marais

In late October, as many businesses in the remote community of Grand Marais were shuttering for the season, Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground was quietly making its debut.

Wunderbar occupies the former Harbor Light supper club, which has been closed for about five years. The building at 1615 Highway 61 W. dates back to 1930.

Castle Danger Brewery expands with new packaging hall

Since opening in 2011, Castle Danger Brewery has grown to become the ninth-largest brewery by production in the state. Next month, a new 8,400-square-foot packaging hall will expand its capacity to deliver customers even more “Dangerously Good Ales.”

Earth Rider beer on tap at Cedar Lounge

For the first time in 50 years, suds are flowing at a production brewery in Superior. The inaugural beer by Earth Rider Brewing — a pale ale — went on tap Oct. 20 at its nearby taproom, the Cedar Lounge. Take-home 32 oz. crowlers are also for sale.

Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant: Delta Diner

The Delta Diner, a one-of-a-kind eatery located 25 miles inland from Lake Superior in the midst of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, has captured the Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant title with 54 percent of the vote.

Since opening in 2003, the restored 1940’s diner has become a culinary destination. It’s not uncommon for people to drive for hours to eat there, traveling from as far as Madison, Milwaukee or the Twin Cities. And customers are willing to wait up to two hours for a meal during busy times.

With Delta Diner, owners Todd Bucher and his wife Nina have created a “vibe” that keeps people coming back. “Restaurants are a very personal thing,” he says. “What wins people over besides our food is the authentic diner experience.”

Poll: What is the best restaurant in the South Shore-area?

With your help, we’ve compiled a list of nominees for the perfect South Shore-area restaurant poll. Now it’s time to vote.

What type of restaurant is capable of earning the perfect restaurant title? Whether a pizza shop, tavern or a fine dining establishment, each nominee begins on equal footing. It’s a matter of personal taste and will be determined by good old-fashioned democracy.

Out of 24 nominees, 20 were eliminated in early voting and the four top restaurants remained: Delta Diner, Maggie’s Restaurant, the Rivers Eatery and Wild Rice Restaurant.

This poll is now closed. The results will be posted soon.

Nominees for Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant Poll

The South Shore of Lake Superior is shockingly underrated. Its scenic beauty rivals that of the more popular North Shore. Visitors to the South Shore can expect a more laidback experience, sandy beaches and an array of unique eateries running the gamut from traditional Wisconsin tavern to farm-to-table bistro.

In the interest of giving kudos to the eateries of our underappreciated neighboring region, Perfect Duluth Day is running the Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant poll.

Coming soon to Lincoln Park: ice cream and pastrami

Two new businesses are setting up in Lincoln Park’s burgeoning craft district. Love Creamery and Corktown Taphouse and Delicatessen will occupy 1908 and 1906 W. Superior St., respectively.

The building, which now features an adjoining space, is undergoing renovations to separate the businesses. Tom Hanson hopes to open Corktown Taphouse by January, while Love Creamery owner Nicole Wilde anticipates a May opening.

Endion Station will remain open this winter

As most seasonal eateries wind down for the winter, Endion Station Public House is planning some changes to embrace the off season.

The pub and cider house at 200 Lake Place Drive opened in the summer of 2014. It weathered that first winter in its Canal Park location but has closed for the winter each year since.

This winter, Endion Station will be open every day at 4 p.m. Closing time is to be determined, but will be later on weekends.

Bubbling up in the craft district: Duluth Kombucha

Duluth’s Lincoln Park craft district has gained another fermented beverage maker. But this one won’t be competing with Bent Paddle and Lake Superior Brewing. Duluth Kombucha set up shop at the Duluth Folk School on Aug. 1.

Iron Range to host inaugural craft beer festival

The Iron Range’s first craft beer festival is on tap this Saturday in Virginia. In addition to a craft beer village, the Olcott Fountain Brew Fest will feature food, live music and kids’ activities.

The event is a fundraiser organized by the Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Committee, whose mission is to restore the park’s historic fountain to its former glory.

“It’s the first brew fest north of Duluth. We seem to have a lot of interest from all over the Iron Range, which is awesome,” says Carly Gobats, who curated the event’s brewery and music lineup and serves as the its volunteer coordinator.

NE BBQ & Smokehouse now open in Cloquet

The Cloquet community gained a Southern-style restaurant last week. NE BBQ & Smokehouse, which specializes in smoked meats and barbecue, opened on July 27.

The Slip bar open in Canal Park


Canal Park gained a unique drinking establishment today. The Slip, located in the historic Suites Hotel building at 325 S. Lake Avenue, opened at 5 p.m.

Named for the nearby Minnesota Slip, which is home to iconic William A. Irvin ore boat, the bar specializes in whiskey and features cocktails made with vodka and gin from the nearby Vikre Distillery. In addition to spirits, the Slip has six types of wine and three types of cider on tap as well as five beers from Hoops Brewing.

Perfect New Restaurant: OMC Smokehouse

OMC Smokehouse is the winner of Perfect Duluth Day’s best new restaurant poll. The popular barbecue joint smoked the competition, garnering 82 percent of the vote among the two finalists. The Boat Club Restaurant and Bar was runner up with 18 percent; 14 other nominees were eliminated in early voting.

OMC (which stands for oink, moo, cluck) opened in February. For more than two years, area residents eagerly anticipated the restaurant’s arrival.

Martha’s Daughter to transform Original Coney Island

Duluth’s Original Coney Island restaurant. Image via Trip Advisor.

After several years of pleasing late-night palates with her pop-up restaurant, chef Nyanyika Banda is opening Martha’s Daughter, a brick and mortar eatery. She hopes to have the Original Coney Island space at 107 E. Superior St. transformed to fit her vision by summer’s end.

Poll: Best New Restaurant in Duluth Area

It’s time for the 2017 edition of Perfect Duluth Day’s “Perfect New Restaurant” poll. In 2016, Northern Waters Restaurant won by a landslide. Since then, a variety of new eating establishments have emerged. Which one is perfect? That will be determined by the good ol’ democratic process. Now is the chance to give your stomach a voice, whether your tastes are frugal or fancy.

It’s a runoff ballot, so if your favorite drops out of the running you can vote again from the remaining pool of contenders. At this stage in the voting, it’s down to the final two: Boat Club Restaurant and Bar and OMC Smokehouse.

What is the best new restaurant in the Duluth area?

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This poll is now closed. The results were:

OMC Smokehouse: 82 percent
Boat Club Restaurant and Bar: 18 percent