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Restaurants Posts

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.

Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant: Delta Diner

The Delta Diner, a one-of-a-kind eatery located 25 miles inland from Lake Superior in the midst of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, has captured the Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant title with 54 percent of the vote.

Since opening in 2003, the restored 1940’s diner has become a culinary destination. It’s not uncommon for people to drive for hours to eat there, traveling from as far as Madison, Milwaukee or the Twin Cities. And customers are willing to wait up to two hours for a meal during busy times.

With Delta Diner, owners Todd Bucher and his wife Nina have created a “vibe” that keeps people coming back. “Restaurants are a very personal thing,” he says. “What wins people over besides our food is the authentic diner experience.”

Poll: What is the best restaurant in the South Shore-area?

With your help, we’ve compiled a list of nominees for the perfect South Shore-area restaurant poll. Now it’s time to vote.

What type of restaurant is capable of earning the perfect restaurant title? Whether a pizza shop, tavern or a fine dining establishment, each nominee begins on equal footing. It’s a matter of personal taste and will be determined by good old-fashioned democracy.

Out of 24 nominees, 20 were eliminated in early voting and the four top restaurants remained: Delta Diner, Maggie’s Restaurant, the Rivers Eatery and Wild Rice Restaurant.

This poll is now closed. The results will be posted soon.

Nominees for Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant Poll

The South Shore of Lake Superior is shockingly underrated. Its scenic beauty rivals that of the more popular North Shore. Visitors to the South Shore can expect a more laidback experience, sandy beaches and an array of unique eateries running the gamut from traditional Wisconsin tavern to farm-to-table bistro.

In the interest of giving kudos to the eateries of our underappreciated neighboring region, Perfect Duluth Day is running the Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant poll.

Coming soon to Lincoln Park: ice cream and pastrami

Two new businesses are setting up in Lincoln Park’s burgeoning craft district. Love Creamery and Corktown Taphouse and Delicatessen will occupy 1908 and 1906 W. Superior St., respectively.

The building, which now features an adjoining space, is undergoing renovations to separate the businesses. Tom Hanson hopes to open Corktown Taphouse by January, while Love Creamery owner Nicole Wilde anticipates a May opening.

Endion Station will remain open this winter

As most seasonal eateries wind down for the winter, Endion Station Public House is planning some changes to embrace the off season.

The pub and cider house at 200 Lake Place Drive opened in the summer of 2014. It weathered that first winter in its Canal Park location but has closed for the winter each year since.

This winter, Endion Station will be open every day at 4 p.m. Closing time is to be determined, but will be later on weekends.

Lyric Kitchen and Bar will replace Porter’s

Holiday Inn & Suites-Duluth and Lion Hotel Group announced today the name and concept for their new restaurant — Lyric Kitchen and Bar. It will open in October, following four months of renovations to the space in the Holiday Center formerly occupied by Porter’s restaurant.

The name is a nod to Duluth’s past. The restaurant is located at 205 W. Superior St. on the historic Lyric block in Duluth, which was once home to grand theaters and touring opera companies.

NE BBQ & Smokehouse now open in Cloquet

The Cloquet community gained a Southern-style restaurant last week. NE BBQ & Smokehouse, which specializes in smoked meats and barbecue, opened on July 27.

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.

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