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Restaurants Posts

Fitger’s Brewhouse hires new head brewer

Alex "Coke" Chocholousek - Photo by Lissa Maki

Alex “Coke” Chocholousek – Photo by Lissa Maki

The new year ushered in some changes at Fitger’s Brewhouse. Alex “Coke” Chocholousek stepped into the role of head brewer on Jan. 1. Chocholousek is the fifth brewer to head up operations at the Brewhouse and says he looks forward to continuing the brewpub’s legacy of quality and innovation.

New Downtown Duluth restaurant Sound opens Jan. 9

Chef Patrick Scot Moore intends to challenge the taste buds of Twin Ports residents with his new eatery, Sound, which will hold an official grand opening Tuesday, Jan. 9. The chef-driven restaurant is housed on the main level of Duluth’s Old City Hall building at 132 E. Superior St.

Vanilla Bean expanding to Duluth; will take over Northern Waters Restaurant space

WDIO Eyewitness News reports the Vanilla Bean restaurant will open a Duluth location in the Mount Royal Shopping Center on Feb. 1. The space has been occupied by Northern Waters Restaurant since February 2016; Northern Waters’ owners announced earlier this month they will close their eatery on Dec. 31.

The original Vanilla Bean, in Two Harbors, opened in 1998.

“The Duluth location will serve Vanilla Bean’s popular signature dishes including oven-baked omelets, Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, Norwegian crepes, pasties, soups, sandwiches, and burgers,” the Eyewitness News story notes. “It will also have full liquor, beer and wine service.”

Island Lake Inn closed, for sale

Island Lake Inn, a bar and grill about 12 miles north of Duluth in the Gnesen Township, has closed.

Iron Range Brewery Update: Klockow open, BoomTown coming soon, Rapids delayed

The craft beer craze is finally permeating Minnesota’s Iron Range. Before the year’s end, the area will support two new breweries: Klockow Brewing Company in Grand Rapids and BoomTown Brewery & Woodfire Grill in Hibbing. Another, Rapids Brewing Company, is in the works.

R.I.P. Epic Restaurant and Lounge

Second Duluth Chilly Billy’s will open in March

Miller Hill Mall will be the location of Duluth’s second Chilly Billy’s Frozen Yogurt shop. It will open in the mall’s food court in March.

Brewhouse’s pub sauce and salad dressing going retail

Just Take Action, a company that owns and operates several restaurants in Duluth, recently began packaging its Fitger’s Brewhouse Chipotle Pub Sauce and Maple Salad Dressing for retail sale.

The effort, under the name Brewhouse Specialties, is part of a move to focus on developing and marketing products to consumers at home.

Northern Waters Restaurant will close Dec. 31

Just two years after opening, the Northern Waters Restaurant at Mount Royal Shopping Center will close. A news release from owners Eric and Lynn Goerdt indicates the business has been sold and a new restaurant will replace it in early 2018.

Hermantown coffee shop changes hands, rebrands

 
In a swift transition of ownership, the two-year-old Pelican Coffee closed Nov. 12 and the new Yellow Bike Coffee opened Nov. 13. There wasn’t a day without caffeination at 5094 Miller Trunk Highway in Hermantown.

Wunderbar: a new place to eat, stay and play in Grand Marais

In late October, as many businesses in the remote community of Grand Marais were shuttering for the season, Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground was quietly making its debut.

Wunderbar occupies the former Harbor Light supper club, which has been closed for about five years. The building at 1615 Highway 61 W. dates back to 1930.

Restaurant named Sound will replace the Blind Pig

Chef Patrick Scott Moore is the front person behind a new restaurant in Duluth called Sound, which will open during the first week of January. The location is 132 E. Superior St. in the former Duluth City Hall, a spot previously occupied by the Blind Pig gastro pub and ale house. The space is being leased from Just Take Action, the entity that developed the Blind Pig and its predecessor, Tycoons Alehouse.

R.I.P. How Sweet it is Cakes

Eileen and Bob Brown are closing How Sweet it is Cakes on Wednesday after more than 20 years in business.

“This has been the most difficult and painful decisions of our lives. Words cannot express our pain and sorrow,” Eileen Brown wrote on the How Sweet it is Cakes Facebook page today.

“There are a number of circumstances that have led up to this decision including but not limited to a significant decline in sales since we’ve moved to our new location, increased cost of product and labor, my and my husband’s health as well as numerous factors that we won’t detail here.”

Duluth: Birthplace of pie à la mode?

According to Wikipedia, pie à la mode was “invented and named by John Gieriet in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1885.” And there seems to be a preponderance of evidence backing up that claim. Yet it’s not a historical tidbit people in Duluth seem to know about.

Is it true? Well, let’s look at the facts and claims involved.

The March 26, 1885 issue of the Duluth Daily Tribune featured a grand opening advertisement for the Hotel la Perl which showed a menu that included vanilla ice cream and blueberry pie. And that, so the story goes, is the oldest known reference to pie à la mode.

Though the Wikipedia entry provides numerous references, none of that support material seems to be available on the internet … until now. This Perfect Duluth Day post is serving as a collecting ground for items helping to prove or debunk the unheralded legend. The first thing we need is a copy of the 1885 newspaper ad. (Update: It has been found and can be seen below in the second comment to this post.

R.I.P. Sneakers Sports Bar & Grill

Sneakers Sports Bar & Grill announced on Facebook today it has closed after 32 years in business. The bar will become part of the new Lyric Kitchen and Bar, which is also replacing Porter’s restaurant as part of a series of renovation projects at Duluth’s Holiday Center.

A news release by Holiday Inn & Suites-Duluth and Lion Hotel Group notes the Lyric will open for business on Oct. 30 and will feature “a full bar and light-hearted dining experience that celebrates all things Duluth.” The menu will include burgers, pizzas and steaks. Breakfast will be served seven days a week.