Restaurants Posts

Superior Waffles opens Tuesday on Tower Avenue

A sweet and savory waffle bar opens in Superior next week. Superior Waffles, located in the New York Building at 1412 Tower Ave., is holding a soft opening on Sunday and a grand opening on Tuesday.

Ride or Die Pizzeria open in Superior

The Superior Telegram reports a new pizzeria has opened in Superior. Terry and Dawn Johnson are the proprietors of Ride or Die Pizzeria at 1623 Broadway St., the former home of Thirsty Pagan Brewing, which moved to new location a block away in 2019.

The Johnsons also own Lee’s Pizza in Duluth’s Lincoln Park Craft District.

R.I.P. Shorty’s Pizza & Smoked Meats

Shorty’s Pizza shortly after it opened in 2013. (Photo by Cindy Vu)

Shorty’s Pizza & Smoked Meats in Superior announced today via Facebook it has ceased operations due to a labor shortage in the hospitality industry.

Amazing Grace grocery transition complete; sit-down cafe service and music will return after pandemic

Connor Riley - Amazing Grace Cafe + Grocery

Connor Riley – Photo by Lissa Maki

Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe, a Canal Park mainstay over the past 25 years, is branching out into the grocery business in 2021. Owner Connor Riley said sit-down dining and music will eventually return to Amazing Grace, but for now he’s focused on the new boutique grocery store aspect of the business, which opened in January.

Matchbooks from Duluth Restaurants and Bars

It’s been five years since Perfect Duluth Day published its first gallery of Duluth-area matchbooks. Since then, the collection has grown significantly. This new post features only matchbooks from bars and restaurants in Duluth. Some of them have been pulled out of the original post and placed in this new post; others are appearing for the first time.

Enjoy the nostalgia and, whatever you do, for the love of humanity, please close cover before striking.

Despite pandemic challenges, Duluth area sees new crop of restaurants and bars in 2020

Kai Soderberg stands outside the Jade Fountain in March, prior to remodeling the former Chinese restaurant and opening it as a tiki bar in August. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

A surprising number of intrepid entrepreneurs opened new restaurants and bars in the Duluth area in 2020, despite the global pandemic. One notable trend is the number of new Black-owned businesses.

A look at Duluth-area food and drink spots we lost in 2020

Left: Maggie’s restaurant in Bayfield marked 40 years in business in August and announced its closure in October. Right: The Crooked Spoon Cafe in Grand Marais was destroyed by fire in April. (Photos via Facebook)

The scourge of COVID-19 has challenged restaurant and bar owners at every level. The temporary closures during the pandemic are too long to list, and the industry outlook for 2021 is filled with uncertainty, but surprisingly few businesses announced they were calling it quits in 2020.

Two of the region’s most notable restaurant losses occurred in small towns away from Duluth, and COVID-19 was perhaps only loosely to blame.

Duluth-area Thanksgiving Takeout Guide 2020

OMC Smokehouse turkey – Photo by Rolf Hagberg

The pandemic will quash many extended family and group gatherings this Thanksgiving. Opting out of cooking entirely and ordering takeout is a totally reasonable option for the smoldering dumpster fire that’s left of 2020.

A bevy of Twin Ports restaurants are offering Thanksgiving meals to go, so no one has to miss out on a full turkey dinner with all the traditional trimmings. Below is Perfect Duluth Day’s list of options to soothe the cumulative stress induced by the past nine months with some savory comfort food.

Try to muster up some gratitude. Whatever you do, leave room for pie.

Schrodinger’s Beer: A Refutation of Quantum Physics from the Duluth Bar Scene

Latest Richardson brothers podcast episode. Full text below the jump.

R.I.P. Mike’s Western Cafe

In an Oct. 7 Facebook post, Mike and Deb Pracher announced the closing of their family restaurant at 2803 W. Superior St. in Duluth’s Lincoln Park Craft District.

“With heavy hearts, we will be closing the doors of Mike’s Western Cafe after 38 years of business,” they wrote. “Thank you so much for your support over the years. We have met so many people, made lots of great friendships and made MANY lasting memories. We appreciate all of you more than you know. Thank you for everything.”

Mike Pracher told Fox-21 he was 23 years old when he bought the restaurant. He said the COVID-19 pandemic led to its demise. “I thought it was going to be a week, two, or three,” Pracher said. “It’s already been six months and I just can’t wait it out.”

Pracher also told Fox 21 he might someday open a restaurant in Carlton County.

Inching out…

I stopped by Blue Rock Coffee & Wine, kind of. It recently opened by the Miller Hill Mall, and I am enchanted by the idea of a wine bar. We haven’t had one in Duluth since the Minnesota Wine Exchange closed, unless I suppose you count the Spirit Room over in Superior. A wine bar feels like a place to taste, not to drink, if that distinction makes sense, and I’d love to have one in Duluth.

So I cruised through the drive through, having salivated over the menu, but being full from a full lunch. I ordered a peach iced tea, which tasted like actual tea, instead of a tea mix. That bodes well, as do the photos of the food.

Am I forgetting other places built for tasting wine, instead of drinking? Vikre is built for tasting gin, not for drinking it, if that helps.

Mama Roots: A Vegan Food Truck for the Twin Ports

Many restaurants are struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic since dining in has been prohibited. In this time of uncertainty, two bold young women are prepping to launch a vegan food truck the likes of which the Twin Ports has never seen.

If all goes as planned, Mama Roots will start popping up in parking lots with its big blue school bus in late June. The mobile restaurant will serve up plant-based, globally inspired cuisine.

Duluth’s Lark o’ the Lake Café won’t reopen

2016 photo by Lissa Maki

Representatives of Lark o’ the Lake Café announced on Facebook yesterday that their eatery in the Greysolon Plaza will not reopen. It has been closed since mid-March, when Minnesota restaurants were ordered to cease dine-in service as part of the Stay-at-home Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Menu: Wasabi Japanese Cuisine

As we continue staying safe with our social distancing practices, Perfect Duluth Day continues to showcase local take-out and delivery dining options with “The Menu.”

Wasabi Japanese Cuisine is available for take-out through its drive-through window. Orders can be placed ahead of time by calling 715-718-8033 or through wasabisushisuperior.com.

Current Hours:
Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sundays: noon to 9:30 p.m.

The Menu: New Scenic Café

As we continue staying safe with our social distancing practices, Perfect Duluth Day continues to showcase local take-out and delivery dining options with “The Menu.”

New Scenic Café is available for both curbside pickup and deliveries. Orders can be placed at newsceniccafe.com/store. The meal kit service, “Mise en Place Marketplace,” offers a variety of options for delivery within a 30-mile radius of the center of Duluth. In addition to prepared meals, grocery store items will begin to appear in the online store as the service is continued.

Pick-up and Delivery Days:
Delivery and pickup for meal kits and other foods is available on Mondays and Fridays only.

Orders placed Sunday through Wednesday are delivered on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. or are available for pickup on Friday from noon to 2 p.m.

Orders placed on Thursday through Saturday are delivered on Monday from noon to 5 p.m. or are available for pickup on Monday from noon to 2 p.m.

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