After one last New Year’s Eve celebration, Midi shuttered its doors for good. But the prime location the restaurant occupied in the lower level of the historic Fitger’s Brewery Complex, with its patio and unparalleled lake view, won’t be dormant for long.
Renovations are already underway for the Boat Club Restaurant & Bar, a fine dining establishment set to open in Midi’s old space Valentine’s Day weekend.
I had guests in from Ontario, from the part of Canada that is south by a long drive from Duluth. We talk often about that oddity, about how strange it feels to drive north to the United States from Waterloo.
They wanted to know what eateries had opened in Duluth since their last visit. I took them to Northern Waters Restaurant in the Mount Royal Shopping Center, where we enjoyed a two-hour lunch.
There are two joys about eating at Northern Waters. One is the unique pricing. Tax and tip are rolled in, so I never worry about whether my companions tip well enough, or whether I tip well enough. That is a greater relief than I expected.
The more substantive dimension is the food, of course. I had the sandwich with the catch of the day. It was a herring sandwich, and I ordered it with a sense of adventure. My whole life, my only experience of herring was pickled, typically stabbed with a toothpick and put on a cracker. I giggled nervously as I ordered it. It was so very tasty.
Two Duluth businesses owned by Steve and Susan Smith are closed. Fizzy Waters was a specialty soda and candy shop that recently moved from Canal Park to West Superior Street. Crabby Ol’ Bill’s was a food stand that operated out of an old boat in Canal Park.
Ted Briggs, the new brew master at Fitger’s Brewhouse
Just Take Action announced Ted Briggs as the new master brewer for Fitger’s Brewhouse this week. “Mr. Briggs will continue to build on the great legacy of quality Lake Superior craft beer first initiated by Dave Hoops and later, Frank Kaszuba,” the company stated in a news release.
Lark o’ the Lake Café is an eatery with an unusual secondary purpose: to promote aviation education. “The Lark,” as it’s more commonly known, celebrated a year in business last month.
Sandra Ettestad, Mark Marino and Don Monaco own the restaurant at 231 E. Superior St. in the Greysolon Plaza. All three are trustees of the Duluth Aviation Institute and founders of its Gilruth Continuum Path to Aviation program.
Monday marks the grand opening of Duluth’s first Pita Pit at 425 W. Superior St. in the new Maurices building. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. The restaurant will be giving away samples and coupons during the grand opening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pita Pit’s tagline is “Fresh thinking. Healthy eating.” Company spokesperson Monica Hendrickson says the franchise offers a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food. She calls it “faster food” since pitas are made to order, similar to Subway sandwich shops.
The decline of the corner bakery in modern America could be considered one of the greatest food-related tragedies of our time. An 85 percent decrease in standalone retail bakeries occurred in the United States over the past 40 years, according to Retail Bakers of America.
With this in mind, it seems important to show our local bakeries some love. That’s why our latest poll will decide the perfect Duluth bakery.
Nominate your favorite by commenting on this post. It will be a purely subjective poll, of course. Comparing an old-school institution stocked with traditional sweets like Long Johns and Bismarcks and a newfangled shop specializing in artisan breads and delicate pastries is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but the idea is to choose an overall favorite.
Feel free to nominate bakeries that double as coffee shops and serve food or the supermarket variety, if you’re so inclined.
After much geographical consideration, we’ve determined any bakery within 16 miles of the Aerial Lift Bridge is eligible for nomination. That means establishments in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the many bordering townships qualify for nomination, but more distant places like Two Harbors and Cloquet do not.
Once we have a good pool of nominees, the poll will commence.
Doug Smith anticipates Avenue C, his new Cloquet restaurant, will open soon. The build-out was about 70 percent complete when it hit some financing snags that delayed the process. Work has now resumed and he estimates the establishment could be up and running by Christmas.
The Duluth News Tribune reports the Hermantown Zen House restaurant in the ICO convenience store at Maple Grove and Haines roads is moving to Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood. Zen House manager Joe Shortino told the paper ICO sold the property and the rumored buyer is Kwik Trip. An ICO official told the News Tribune a sale is pending, but would not disclose the buyer.
Zen House’s new location will be 4023 Woodland Ave. Sala Thai occupied that building before moving to 114 W. First St. in 2015.
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.
After a busy day, it’s tough to muster up the energy to cook a meal. But going out to eat and drink regularly is expensive. The good news? If you plan it right, you can drink and dine at plenty of local places any day of the week for 10 bucks or less. Here’s a daily planner for sampling of some of the best happy hour specials in Duluth and Superior.