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Mark Nicklawske Posts

Reader publisher buys former West Theater

west-theater-duluth-2016

A repurposed West Duluth movie theater has been sold to the publisher of an alternative weekly newspaper. The historic West Theater building at 317-319 N. Central Avenue was purchased earlier this month by Duluth Reader founder and publisher Robert Boone, operating as Paladin Properties LLC. The building was previously owned by David Orman, whose now-defunct promotional products business Raven & Associates headquartered there from 2012 to 2014.

Hacienda del Sol building eyed by Lake Avenue Restaurant group

The Hacienda del Sol restaurant on East Superior Street closed in 2011. Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar owners are in the process of buying the property.

The Hacienda del Sol restaurant on East Superior Street closed in 2011. Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar owners are in the process of buying the property.

Owners of a popular Canal Park restaurant have been working for more than a year to secure the former Hacienda del Sol building in the newly rebranded Downtown Duluth Historic Arts and Theatre Distict.

Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar owner Mark Swenson said last week his partnership group is working to purchase the long vacant Mexican restaurant at 319 E. Superior St. The group would like to remodel and reopen the building with a kitchen serving Central American inspired cuisine.

Book store will replace Wild West Liquor; other slow-moving changes in the works on Central Avenue in West Duluth

The former Wild West Liquor building on Central Avenue is being remodeled and new owners plan to open a used book store in the space next summer.

The former Wild West Liquor building, at left, is being remodeled and new owners plan to open a used book store there next summer.

A Carleton College professor and his wife have purchased a former West Duluth liquor store and plan to open a used book shop in a business district targeted by city officials for redevelopment.

Bob and Angel Dobrow of Northfield bought the Wild West Liquor building, 318 N. Central Ave., in July for $214,000 and plan to open Zenith Bookstore in the space next summer. The couple, along with friends and family, have gutted the 1890s building and exposed its original floors, tin ceilings and brick walls. They will eventually fill the store with thousands of books from their collection, recent purchases and new finds.

New owners reopen Cedar Lounge in Superior

Tim and Naomi Nelson pose inside the Cedar Lounge just off Tower Avenue in Superior.

Tim and Naomi Nelson pose inside the Cedar Lounge just off Tower Avenue in Superior.

Trailblazing craft brewery owner and longtime Duluth bar developer Tim Nelson is ready to launch his newest drinking establishment in a historic, working waterfront neighborhood on the Superior side of the Twin Ports.

The Cedar Lounge, 1715 N. Third Street, just off Tower Avenue, opens in the shadows of the Harvest State Co-op grain elevators Friday, Aug. 26. Nelson and his wife, Naomi, purchased the historic bar building in December and the property has undergone a seven-month restoration.

Liquor is legal in Lakeside. Who will serve it?

Lakeside Liquor

It’s as clear as 100-proof vodka that the first bar in the long-temperate Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth will be located on East Superior Street. The commercial corridor bends almost three miles from Northland Country Club to the Lester River. The road cuts through the heart of a bedroom community that includes close to 10,000 residents. It’s a neighborhood that has never seen a neon Leinenkugel sign or heard a last call.

Historic heart of Superior’s East End faces changes

Walter Haugen stands outside the former East End Drug store his father operated for almost 70 years in Superior. The set of buildings on East Fifth Street are planned for demolition this spring.

Walter Haugen stands in front of buildings on the 2100 block of East Fifth Street, all planned for demolition this spring.

Walter Haugen stood inside an old corner pharmacy his father operated for close to 70 years on Superior’s East End. A junk pile was pushed near the plate glass front windows. Empty shelving units displayed old merchandise tags. A pungent mercurochrome smell filled the dusty store.

He pointed through a hole in some foam panels overhead. The hole exposed a tin ceiling most likely installed when the building was constructed in 1878. Dozens of silver, square tin tiles decorated the ceiling.

Haugen said someone could be hired to take down the tin, which could be sold for a hefty price to antique dealers or architectural salvage specialists. But it won’t be done.

“It would be like gutting a relative,” he said. “It would be like if you had a pet deer that you raised and someone asked you to chop it up and sell them the meat. You just wouldn’t do it.”

The East End Drug Store, on the corner of Fifth Street and 22nd Avenue, anchors a collection of storefront buildings in the oldest business district in Superior. The 19th Century buildings are expected to meet the wrecking ball in the coming weeks, opening a prime corner to commercial redevelopment.

Mysterious Masonic building seeks new owner

Real Estate agent Jim Aird in the balcony of the old Euclid Masonic Lodge in West Duluth. Aird's grandfather was a member of the fraternity and had a room named after him in the building.

Real Estate agent Jim Aird in the balcony of the old Euclid Masonic Lodge in West Duluth. Aird’s grandfather was a member of the fraternity and had a room named after him in the building.

An historic and mysterious West Duluth building has stood abandoned for a decade after an ancient fraternal organization sold the property to a developer who died before initiating a renovation.

Euclid Lodge 198 erected the boxy, brick and largely windowless building at 611 N. Central Avenue in 1909, a period of great growth for the centuries-old, international fraternity of Masons. During its almost 100 years in operation, some of the most prominent West Duluth businessmen and civic leaders of the time participated in secretive ceremonies, jovial fellowship and benevolent works inside its walls.

Christie ♥ Deluth

Supermodel Christie Brinkley was in town with the John Mellencamp tour. Warning: She is a creative speller.

Duluth couple tackling historic hotel renovation

Mitchells

A Duluth couple building upscale housing space into an abandoned 19th Century hotel expects buyers will be interested in Downtown Duluth living.

Zenith City Revival LLC owners Mitchell and Michelle Holmes plan to build 12 loft-style condominiums inside the former Gardner Hotel at 12 N. Lake Ave. in Duluth’s Historic Arts and Theater District. The couple is calling it Building No. 12 Lofts on Lake, and said units will list for between $225,000 to $370,000 each. A storefront, street-level sales space is scheduled to open this spring.

Over the past two years, the Holmes’ have removed trash bins full of debris, installed new floors, repaired ceilings and sandblasted brick walls. The city of Duluth authorized permits for $835,000 in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work in February 2015.

“We’re going slow, just making sure we get everything right,” said Mitchell Holmes. “They’re going to be very nice, upscale, smaller-size condominiums so people can afford them.”

New owner takes over Superior’s Cedar Lounge

The Cedar Lounge is located just off Tower Avenue at Third Street in Superior's north end.

The Cedar Lounge is located just off Tower Avenue at Third Street in Superior’s North End. The new owner has not announced plans for the property.

The wife of former Fitger’s Brewhouse co-owner Tim Nelson has her name on the recently transferred liquor license of a decades-old Superior tavern.

The Superior City Council granted Cedar Forest LLC a Class B liquor and beer license for the Cedar Lounge, 1715 N. Third St., at its Dec. 15 meeting. The license application lists the sole member of Cedar Forest as Naomi C. Nelson, wife of Duluth micro-brew trailblazer Tim Nelson.