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R.I.P. Posts

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.

Jansen preparing to close the Main Club in Superior

Fox 21 reports the Main Club, Superior’s first openly gay bar, is closing after 34 years in business. Owner Bob Jansen told reporter Joey Nelson his last day of business will be shortly after the Duluth-Superior Pride Festival, which concludes with a drag show at the Main on Sept. 3.

Jansen said the bar has struggled in recent years because younger people feel less of a need for gay-specific bars.

“The younger crowd can go anywhere,” he told Fox 21. “So their support for some of the gay communities — institutions — have fallen by the wayside.”

Gunnar Birkerts, Duluth Public Library architect, dead at 92

Gunnar Birkerts, a Latvian-born architect who extended the vocabulary of Modernism using unexpected angular forms, folding planes and ingenious, light-suffused interiors, died on Tuesday at his home in Needham, Mass. He was 92.

Einstürzende alt bauten!

Photo from the Facebooks by James Gittemeier.

Goodbye old building. Say hi for me to House of Donuts when you get to old-building heaven.

Dead Chipmunk Floats By

Spent all day setting up the underwater camera to get the mergansers diving in the area, but they were pretty uncooperative. Then this dead chipmunk floated by, so the day wasn’t a total waste haha. Anyway you can see what I’d wager is a talon wound on its side. Chipmunks live (and die I guess) all along the water’s edge, I frequently hear their signature chirping. Lots of vegetal flotsam in the water today too.

Duluth artist Russell Gran dead at 81

Russell V. Gran, a Duluth native best known for his acrylic paintings and role as the unofficial “patriarch” of the Washington Studios Artist Cooperative, died June 14 of an apparent heart attack. He was 81.

“Endlessly curious and driven to create, his curmudgeonly exterior was merely a facade for a wonderfully humorous, sensitive and loving being,” fellow artist and friend Eric Dubnicka wrote on Facebook.

Goodbye, Peter Pestalozzi

Peter Pestalozzi lived outside Ely, but his art was often seen in the Duluth Art Institute and in local galleries. Peter passed away, and I lost someone who was distant but important to me.

R.I.P. Farmer Hank

STRAUSSBOSCORNThe Duluth News Tribune reports Farmer Hank Bos died Feb. 4 after battling lung cancer. He was 79.

Bos was known in West Duluth for selling his produce on Grand Avenue near the Minit Mart convenience store, formerly known as Little Store. The DNT reports Bos “for decades faithfully drove the 94 miles from his Shell Lake, Wis., farm to western Duluth daily from July to late October to sell produce from next to his pickup truck.”

R.I.P. St. Margaret Mary Church of Morgan Park

St Margaret Mary Church 1 St Margaret Mary Church 2

The two photos above, posted to Facebook by Tim Beaulier, show yesterday’s demolition of St. Margaret Mary Church in Duluth’s Morgan Park neighborhood. WDIO-TV’s Eyewitness News reported last week the church was set to be razed.

R.I.P. Chicken Spur

Chicken Spur 2002 DNTSay it ain’t so. The Duluth News Tribune reports Germann’s Hammond Spur at the foot of the Superior side of the Blatnik Bridge is closing today. The convenience store has been known for years as the “Chicken Spur” because of its deli, which offered fried chicken, egg rolls, corn dogs and more. The DNT notes the store is holding a 50 percent off sale in hopes of closing out its inventory.

ChickenSpurSuperior

Mary Tyler Moore went to high school in Duluth … sort of

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Mike Michaels posted this image from The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Facebook yesterday, the date of Mary Tyler Moore’s death, noting the show featured the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Old Main building as the fictional high school of her character, Mary Richards.

“One of the show’s writers, Lorenzo Music, lived in Duluth and attended UMD. He married an actress who was a Denfeld grad,” Michaels wrote. “They both ended up starring in a CBS variety show and both wrote the theme song to The Bob Newhart Show. Lorenzo became even more famous as the voice of the doorman on the TV show Rhoda and the voice of Garfield the cat. He was also a TV producer.”

UMD’s Old Main building was destroyed by fire in 1993.

R.I.P. Francine York

francine-yorkAurora, the Iron Range city about an hour north of Duluth, was home to Francine York. “From the 60s and into the 70s, she was a guest-star on dozens of series, with some of her most remembered roles from Batman, Lost In Space, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Streets of San Francisco.”

Bleeding Cool has the obituary for this Northland celebrity.

R.I.P. Fizzy Waters, Crabby Ol’ Bill’s

fizzy-waters-duluth

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.

Video Archive: Star Wars closes in Duluth (R.I.P. Carrie Fisher)

Carrie Fisher, the actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars movies, died today at age 60.

Destination Duluth recently found this WDIO-TV news report on YouTube. The clip is from Dec. 22, 1977, the day the original Star Wars closed in Duluth. Destination Duluth posted it to Facebook with a note that “Star Wars smashed box office records with 459 showings over 191 days in Duluth.”

Derelict West Duluth church bites dust

st-marys-demolition

Demolition of the former West Duluth Baptist Church at 5907 Grand Ave. is underway. In August the Duluth City Council unanimously approved the plan to tear down the structure, built in 1938.