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Restaurants Posts

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.

It’s the second restaurant opened by Tom and Jaima Hanson, proprietors of the Duluth Grill — a perennial favorite, which has appeared in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and won PDD’s Perfect Vegetarian Menu and Perfect Breakfast Menu awards.

The primary similarity between the Duluth Grill and OMC is the care taken to ensure quality. Both restaurants source local and sustainable ingredients when possible. Beyond that, OMC is a distinctly different animal.

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

PDD Quiz: Breakfast Diners of the Twin Ports

Cafe CounterInspired by a now six-year-old PDD post, we’re serving up a heaping platter of breakfast diner trivia. How well do you know your Twin Ports breakfast diners? Can you identify them using only a photograph of the counter and a unique menu item? Dig in and find out!

Our next quiz, reviewing July happenings, will be published on July 30. E-mail question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by July 27.

Trophy Café open on Commonwealth Avenue

Fox 21 News reports a new café has opened in the former Vietnamese Lotus Inn location at 1314 Commonwealth Ave. in Duluth’s Gary neighborhood. The Trophy Café is owned by Mont du Lac Resort and managed by Mike Ohara.

St. Louis County records show Matt Gregg is the owner of the building. He purchased it from Steven D. and Cuc T. Allen one year ago for $40,000. The Allens were proprietors of the Lotus Inn, which they operated from 2003 to 2013, and briefly reopened in 2015 under the name VN Coffeehouse.

Wabegon bar and grill has new owner

A tavern, off-sale liquor outlet and supper club in Superior Township is under new ownership. John Hartwick purchased the 85-year-old Wabegon bar and grill on April 28 and hit the ground running, only shutting down for half a day to inventory the place. Paul Vernon, who owned the Wabegon for 10 years, held a going away pig roast party the week prior.

The Wabegon is a bit of a geographical oddity. Though it’s located in Wisconsin, roads leading in are through Minnesota, and the vibe of the business is Minnesota through and through. For residents of Duluth’s Fond du Lac neighborhood, it’s the primary gathering place for food and revelry; Superior residents, on the other hand, are barely aware it exists.

Red Herring Lounge serving up food with tunes

Anna Hanson and Paul Wold

The Red Herring Lounge has made a name for itself as a music venue in Duluth and beyond. Since its inception three years ago, the bar has been serving up inventive cocktails along with a respectable list of wines and craft brews. Now it’s adding snacks and small plates to the menu.

Duluth Folk School finds home; plans to open Dovetail Café

Since offering its first class a year ago, Duluth Folk School has been largely nomadic. Appropriately enough, it recently found a home in the burgeoning Lincoln Park Craft District. A teaching kitchen and café are among the many plans for the massive space at 1917 W. Superior St.

Postcards from New Yorker Patio Restaurant in Duluth

New Yorker Patio Restaurant was known as the “home of Duluth’s original hickory charcoal broiler.” Located in the Fifth Avenue Hotel at 9 S. Fifth Ave. W., the restaurant offered fine food and cocktails, “expertly prepared and served in a unique atmosphere of comfort rarely found anywhere.” The proprietors were Fred and Loretta McAllister.

Crooked Pint Ale House open in Kenwood Village

Crooked Pink Ale House opened its Duluth location on Tuesday in the Kenwood Village apartment development on Kenwood Avenue and Arrowhead Road. It’s the chain’s sixth location in Minnesota.

Porter’s restaurant closing for renovation and rebranding

Porter’s restaurant announced today it will temporarily close on May 30 and reopen with a new name, look and menu. The $1 million restaurant renovation project coincides with broader revitalization efforts by Lion Hotel Group, which owns Porter’s, the Duluth Holiday Inn & Suites and the shopping and office complex that contains them — Holiday Center. Construction at the restaurant is expected to start in June.

New operator will reopen Crabby Ol’ Bill’s by June

Starting in June, Duluthians and tourists will once again be able to get their mini doughnut fix out of a retired fishing vessel in Canal Park.

The fate of Crabby Ol’ Bill’s snack shack remained in question after Steve and Susan Smith announced they would be closing it back in December after five years running the business. Last week, the Duluth City Council approved a lease for developer Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners to operate the seasonal food stand based within the Nels J, an iconic boat that sits adjacent to the boardwalk near the North Pier Lighthouse.

Postcard from the Bellows restaurant in Duluth

The Bellows was a fine dining restaurant and cocktail lounge that operated at 2230 London Road from 1969 to 1997. It was founded by Don M. and Verna Bellows, and the round-shaped design came from architect Robert W. Prestidge.

Birth of a Blog: Back-to-Back Mornings at Duluth Coffee Spots

Cup of MudIt was probably midwinter when I decided on starting a blog. But as with most things, I hadn’t felt enough motivational surge to pull the trigger and actually do it. With the coming of spring I finally found the well and pumped myself up for back-to-back mornings at two of my favorite hometown hangouts. On the hunt for good vibes, yummy breakfast food, the world wide web and a cup (or three) of coffee, my plan was to spend the majority of both days two-fold: putting together a website and taking photos in anticipation of somehow capturing the weekend in a blog to gain some much needed content.

Burger blogger takes northland burger tour

burgerradioI joined Burger Radio‘s visit to Big Daddy’s Burgers in Duluth as part of the podcast’s Northland Burger Tour. Tastefully astute, yet by no means snobbish, Bruce’s latest installment describes his burger dining experiences at Gordy’s Hi-Hat, the Anchor Bar and Big Daddy’s Burgers. Bruce covers the Minneapolis-St. Paul burger scene but enjoys tasting and reviewing burgers nationwide.