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Mark Nicklawske Posts

West Theater renovation adds second theater property

Duluth Reader publisher and West Theater owner Robert Boone has purchased 321 N. Central Ave., next to his West Theater renovation project. The building, constructed in 1913, is the former Alhambra Theater and most recently housed Interior Tomato, a hydroponic gardening store.

An alternative weekly newspaper publisher currently renovating a West Duluth movie theater has purchased a second historic but mostly forgotten theater adjacent to his current project.

Congdon Pumphouse highlights historic home tour

A 19th Century Duluth pump house was converted into living space by Elisabeth Congdon in 1937. The property will be open during the Duluth Preservation Alliance Historic Property Tour Sept. 16.

Duluth has dozens of spectacular waterfront properties with amazing Lake Superior views but only one home has a front porch featuring metal wave deflectors and living room windows equipped with hurricane shutters.

New sign celebrates Snively Monument

A new informational sign will be installed at the recently refurbished Snively Monument on West Skyline Parkway. The Duluth Preservation Alliance will hold a sign dedication ceremony on Monday, Aug. 13, 3 p.m., at the Snively Monument, located just east of the Stewart Creek Bridge on the scenic roadway.

Cancer battle pushes sale of iconic West Duluth store

Joel Russell stands outside Central Sales, a surplus store his family has owned for more than 30 years.

An iconic and ruggedly unique surplus store in the heart of West Duluth has been put up for sale as its longtime owner prepares to fight a serious health issue.

Shanty Bottle Shop will have new owners

Shanty Bottle Shop owner Pam Crotty waves goodbye outside the front door of her business. Crotty has sold the store after nearly four decades in beer, wine and liquor sales.

An iconic, family-run East Hillside liquor store will change hands next month after four generations served the public’s rapidly changing tastes in beer, wine and spirits.

Interior designer expands into historic Lake Avenue building

Isola Design and Mavis Furniture principal and owner Jill Isola Johnson, holding her dog Pepper, stands with Assistant Designer Mireille Kidd, left, and intern Kyla Schulte in the new office furniture showroom.

An interior designer responsible for cutting-edge urban commercial properties like the Whole Foods Co-op and Canal Park Brewery is opening a new office furniture showroom in a historic Downtown Duluth building.

Old Zelda Theatre gets another makeover

MPPL Financial President Scott Wallschlaeger stands outside 309 W. Superior St., the old Zelda Theatre building.

The NorShor isn’t the only historic theater seeing a new life in downtown Duluth.

MPPL Financial purchased the former Zelda Theatre in December and plans to move its operations from a historic bank building in Proctor to 309 W. Superior St. this summer. Renovations are underway both inside the heavily altered building and outside on Superior Street, where the city of Duluth recently launched a major road reconstruction project.

The building had been home to Peterson Anderson Flowers since the 1980s.

According to the website cinematreasures.org, the Zelda Theatre was constructed in 1914. It was designed by architects Wangenstein and Guliuson for owner W.M. Abrahamson, who named the building after a daughter. A University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library photo shows the building once boasted a marble facade, a grand second story archway and 15-foot high pillars framing the entrance.

“Unfortunately, almost nothing is left of the original building,” said MPPL president Scott Wallschlaeger. “It’s really a shame because the front of the building was amazing.”

According to the Duluth history website zenithcity.com, the theater closed in 1927, becoming the Zelda Inn and later Boyce Drug Store.

First look inside the new Bent Paddle tap room

Bent Paddle principals, from left, Pepin Young, Bryon and Karen Tonnis and Colin and Laura Mullen gather around a table featuring a Boundary Waters Canoe Area map inside the new brewery tap room.

Bent Paddle Brewing will open its new tap room in the former Enger Olson Furniture store at 1832 W. Michigan St. on April 12.

Ursa Minor Brewing will stress variety, quality

The Ursa Minor Brewery team includes, from left, General Manager Andrew Scrignoli, Head Brewer Mark Hugus and Chief of Operations Ben Hugus. The brewery plans to hire 10 employees.

The newest brewery in Lincoln Park will feature a patio, a pizza oven and a plan to create adventurous, small-batch beer in a former cracker factory.

Ursa Minor Brewing announced this week it will open a five-barrel brewing operation, tap room and offices at 2415 W. Superior St. Brothers and co-founders Ben and Mark Hugus said they hope to begin serving thirsty customers by mid-summer.

Donut lovers have hope in Duluth’s Lakeside

Cases were loaded with pastry and shelves decorated with cookie jars at Johnson’s Lakeside Bakery in this 2015 photo.

Eastside donut and cookie lovers will lose a longtime sweet supplier this spring but a potential plan is in the works to install another bakery at the same address which has fed the neighborhood for more than six decades.

Historic downtown Superior building gets detailed restoration

The Empire Block opened in 1892 on Tower Avenue in the heart of downtown Superior. Newly restored apartments will be open for showing in February.

A meticulous, top-to-bottom restoration of a massive 19th Century building in downtown Superior will offer jaw-dropping views for new residents, historic charm for new businesses and a boost to city center redevelopment efforts.

Boutique hotel opening in Lincoln Park this spring

A small and stylish boutique hotel — the first of its kind in Duluth — is set to open this spring in the Lincoln Park craft district.

The husband and wife team of Andy Matson and Chelsy Whittington plan to open the three-suite hotel on the second floor of a historic building they recently purchased at 1923 W. Superior Street. The new accommodations will be called the Hotel Pikku, which means small or odd in Finnish.

Matson and Whittington said travelers who want to experience a trendy, centrally-located neighborhood away from typical Duluth tourist areas will stay at the Pikku Hotel. Clients or patrons of other Lincoln Park businesses are also potential lodgers. The cozy, completely renovated rooms with kitchenettes will rent for between $100 and $150 a night.

Bob Monahan launches Downtown Duluth hostel project

Red Herring Lounge owner Bob Monahan stands outside the former Garon Brothers jewelry store at 217 W. First St. Monahan plans to renovate the building and open a 46-bed hostel.

Visitors to Duluth can soon add a hostel to the growing number of lodging options available in the Twin Ports. Nightclub owner Bob Monahan and an undisclosed partner purchased the former Garon Brothers Jewelry store at 217 W. First St. and plan to open a 46-bed hostel in the space next spring.

North shore photographer finds permanent home downtown

Ryan Tischer, whose work can be compared to noted photographers Jim Brandenburg and Craig Blacklock, will open a gallery at 5 W. Superior St. next month.

A new art gallery showcasing the natural beauty of the region has found a permanent home just off the busiest corner in Downtown Duluth.

Photographer Ryan Tischer and his wife Aimee secured a lease at 5 W. Superior St. and will open a gallery and workshop in the space Nov. 16. Tischer works full time as a photographer based in Duluth’s Smithville neighborhood. In the past 10 years he has built a portfolio centered on iconic Lake Superior landscapes.

Historic home tour offers rare look into original Tweed Museum

Duluth Preservation Alliance boardmember Dennis Lamkin, left, and homeowner Leslie Broadway stand along a newly installed garden outside the Tweed House in Chester Park. The home is part of the Duluth Preservation Alliance Historic Properties Tour Sept. 17.

The largest art museum in Duluth started on the first floor of a Chester Park home but the glamorous history was hardly recognizable when Jared and Leslie Broadway purchased the property six years ago.

“It was just a room you passed through to get upstairs,” said Leslie, as she led visitors into the 103-year-old Tweed House at 2531 E. Seventh St. “Jared had his exercise equipment down here.”

Working with Duluth preservationist Dennis Lamkin and a stable of contractors, the couple transformed the dreary ground floor basement back into a place for treasured art and lively social gatherings. The public will get a rare look at the historic gallery during the 32nd annual Duluth Preservation Alliance Historic Properties Tour on Sunday, Sept. 17.