Lissa Maki Posts

Seasonal restaurants reopening in and around Duluth for 2016

IMG_8288Nothing signifies the emergence of spring quite like the reappearance of malts on the Duluth Lakewalk and the wafting scent of fried fare from seasonal burger joints. For those ready to indulge, here’s a rundown on seasonal restaurant re-openings.

Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet reopened on March 20, the first day of spring. The classic hamburger stand is a favorite among locals and a popular stop for Twin Cities travelers headed to cabins up north. The restaurant, now in it’s 56th season, is known for its hand-pattied burgers and onion rings, and was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. A&Dubs

A & Dubs, another nostalgic burger joint in Duluth’s West End, will reopen on Mother’s Day, May 8. The seasonal, family-run business at 3131 W. Third St. was founded in 1948 as Duluth’s first drive-in restaurant. A & Dubs holds a special place in the hearts of residents of western Duluth. It’s a remarkable relic; nowhere else in Duluth has ice-cold root beer and burger baskets delivered by carhops for in-vehicle consumption.

Ice cream aficionados will be pleased to know the Denfeld Dairy Queen and the PortLand Malt Shoppe are already serving up decadent desserts.

Canal Park Timber Lodge Steakhouse won’t reopen

Canal Park Timber Lodge Steakhouse Timberlodge Steakhouse

After 20 years in business, the Timber Lodge Steakhouse in Canal Park is calling it quits. Bruce Taher, CEO of Timber Lodge’s parent company, Taher Inc., says he regrets having to make the decision. He hoped to close the restaurant for the winter and reopen it this spring, but a number of challenges precipitated the restaurant’s demise.

Historic Androy hotel bar gets makeover as Steel Toe Pub

Ben and Margie Regner, photo by Lissa Maki

Ben and Margie Regner

Steel Toe Pub quietly opened in February in the historic Androy Hotel’s lobby at 1213 Tower Avenue in Superior. Patrons of the former Androy Lounge might find the pub unrecognizable as the space has been extensively renovated in the past year.

Owners Margie and Dave Regner have also been proprietors of the hotel since 1986. Margie said her husband and sons did much of the work on the bar themselves, ripping out layers of false ceilings and taking down several walls to reveal exposed brick. “We totally gutted the whole place,” she says.

New Alakef CEO launches City Girl Coffee

Alyza Bohbot poses in front of Alakef's original roaster with City Girl Coffee swag

Alyza Bohbot poses in front of Alakef’s original roaster with City Girl Coffee schwag

Alyza Bohbot never intended to take over Alakef Coffee Roasters, her family’s wholesale coffee roasting business. She was living on the East Coast and had just finished a master’s degree in school counseling when her parents, Nessim and Deborah, told Alyza, their only child, of their retirement plans.

Alyza says she had a “gut check moment.” She realized she didn’t want to see the business her parents worked so hard to build leave the family. She agreed to move back to Minnesota for a six-month trial period to determine if it was a good fit. Three years later, with her parents’ guidance and the help of veteran Alakef staff, Alyza is running the company and taking it in an interesting new direction.

Craft brewers rolling out variety of vessels

Lake Supbeerior

Duluth beer drinkers have more choices than ever — not just in terms of brands and styles, but also in packaging. A variety of new bottle and can styles have entered the local market, and more are on the way.

Two prominent examples are the 750ml bottles Fitger’s Brewhouse used to package its late-winter series, and the 16 oz. cans Castle Danger Brewery will soon release for its seasonal offerings.

Whole Foods Co-op – Denfeld set to open March 16

Denfeld WFC

Duluth’s second Whole Foods Co-op store will open March 16 at 4426 Grand Ave., a few hundred feet from Denfeld High School on the site of the former Jefferson Lines bus station.

Those familiar with shopping at the co-op’s Hillside location at 610 E. Fourth St. can expect similar whole, organic, local and regional food offerings at the West Duluth store, plus an expanded deli area with hot and cold grab-and-go foods.

2016 Duluth-area Beer Festival Primer

Beer-FestAs craft beer continues to explode in popularity in the Twin Ports and beyond, local beer tastings and beer-centered festivals proliferate. Below are some highlights of beery upcoming events in the region. The name of each event links to the PDD Calendar entry for that event; the links in the event descriptions link to the official event webpages.

gcbrewfestSMFebruary 27 – Grand Minnesota Taste-Together
Grand Casino, Hinckley

The sixth annual Grand Minnesota Taste-Together features over 160 different craft beers from local, regional and national breweries. The event culminates with a concert featuring The Voice’s Madi Davis and English folk-punk group Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. Twin Ports Nightlife organizes the festival.

bockfestMarch 10-12 – Bockfest
Fitger’s Courtyard, Duluth

Bockfest is an annual German celebration of spring that has been taking place at the Fitger’s Complex since 1995. This family-friendly, outdoor event runs from Thursday evening through Saturday night and includes fun games and traditions like the black forest torte-eating contest and the big dip into Lake Superior. There will be music, food, a campfire and Split Rock Bock, a seasonal beer made by Lake Superior Brewing.

GGBBrewfest2016LogoApril 16 – Gitchee Gumee Brewfest
Wessman Arena, Superior

Sample over 100 beers from 25 different breweries from the Midwest and beyond at the area’s longest running beer-tasting event, the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest. VIP and regular admission tickets are available. The event is in its 19th year and typically sells out.

The Vintage Kitchen serves up cheap eats and antiques

Vintage Kitchen, photo by Lissa Maki

Ron Garatz and Wally Berg, owners of the Vintage Kitchen

A charming little diner in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood is serving up homestyle food on colorful, classic Formica tables. But what truly makes the Vintage Kitchen distinctive is that antique furnishings and décor are also on the menu.

Northern Waters restaurant open on Woodland Avenue

Northern Waters

Fans of all things cured and smoked will rejoice in knowing Northern Waters Smokehaus has opened its much-anticipated Woodland Avenue location in the Chester Park – UMD neighborhood. While the new restaurant offers some familiar lunch items from the Smokehaus, the menu is more expansive and includes alcoholic beverages.

Blacklist brewery expanding to downtown Duluth

Blacklist Artisan Ales partners

Jon Loss, Brian Schanzenbach and TJ Estabrook, the partners behind Blacklist Artisan Ales

One of the smaller Twin Ports breweries, Blacklist Artisan Ales, is earning big media attention this week after its announced expansion into the building that previously housed the infamous Last Place on Earth head shop.

Sunshine Café reopening after owner’s recovery from injury

Young-a and Steven Clement

Sunshine Café, a 30-year-old West Duluth restaurant known for its affordable, tasty breakfasts and cheery atmosphere, will reopen Thursday after a five-month hiatus.

Owners Young-a and Steven Clement closed their café at 5719 Grand Avenue in August when Steven fell two stories from a ladder while cleaning the gutters on his home. He was in intensive care for a month and has been recovering ever since. He fractured ribs and vertebrae, damaged the orbital bone in his eye and sustained a nasty head wound.

Duluth ups its caffeination with opening of Grand World Coffee

Grand World Coffee exterior

West Duluth welcomed another neighborhood coffee shop on Jan. 4. Grand World Coffee opened in the former Subway sandwich shop space at 4918 Grand Ave., next to Vision-Pro Optical.

OMC Smokehouse anticipates November opening

Duluth Grill owner Tom Hanson stands in the gutted 1886 structure that will house his next restaurant venture.

Duluth Grill owner Tom Hanson stands in the gutted 1886 structure that will house his next restaurant venture.

If all goes as planned, the nascent commercial stretch of the Lincoln Park neighborhood — home to Bent Paddle Brewing, Damage Boardshop and Frost River Trading — will gain a distinctive new restaurant before the end of 2016.

OMC Smokehouse is Duluth Grill owner Tom Hanson’s latest project. OMC stands for oink, moo, cluck. The aptly named eatery will cater to carnivores with its smoked meats and cured sausages, but Hanson promises there will be menu items aimed at vegetarians, too.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!