Shorty’s Pizza & Smoked Meats in Superior announced today via Facebook it has ceased operations due to a labor shortage in the hospitality industry.
Duluth’s Electric Fetus store, 12 E. Superior St., announced today it will not reopen. The store was best known for selling compact discs and other music products, though items like jewelry, clothing and gifts made up a larger chunk of the sales. The company’s Minneapolis location will remain open.
George always ran Snowflake Nordic Ski Center like a charity. The cashbox on the counter just sat there on the honor system. Each year, I signed up my kids for the KidSki program. This was during the window of time each fall where he gave a discount for signing up early. I paid full price because I could afford it. I also did it because, unlike a lot of things, I knew exactly where my money was going. I mean, outside of my family, cross-country skiing is my favorite thing. And each year when he got my check, George called me on the phone and said, “You shouldn’t pay full price. You can pay the discounted price.” And I said, “I know George. It’s me. I told you the exact same thing last year.”
One time, I was skiing classic style in the snow-blessed microclimate at Snowflake and George came up on me the opposite direction and said, “Great technique!” I was a little too pleased, but a comment like that from George, a 1952 Olympian, was like a benediction.
The former Robert’s Home Furnishings building at 2102 W. Superior St. in Lincoln Park was torn down last week. Robert Rothenberger launched furniture retail business in 1987 and closed its doors in October 2018 upon retirement. Roberts was part of the “big three” furniture stores that anchored the West End for decades. The building was constructed 1890 as a lumber warehouse. Rachel Development, based in St. Michael, Minn., plans to build a four-story, 74-unit housing project on the site. Rothenberger died in November. Photo by Mark Nicklawske.
Artist Leif Brush, who taught at the University of Minnesota Duluth from 1976 to 2002, died on March 15 at the age of 88. His obituary can be found on cremationsocietyofmn.com.
The video “Terraplane Chorography I,” embedded above, is a performance with audio tape and live piano, shot at the Tweed Museum of Art in 1979 and digitized from videocassette in 2011.
Obits are not common on Perfect Duluth Day, but Mike Hruza wasn’t a common person. He was known to hundreds, thousands of Duluthians as “Big Friendly Mike” because he worked for decades selling games and comics, or because he played games and talked comics with anyone who would listen (including the times I sat next to him on the bus).
The scourge of COVID-19 has challenged restaurant and bar owners at every level. The temporary closures during the pandemic are too long to list, and the industry outlook for 2021 is filled with uncertainty, but surprisingly few businesses announced they were calling it quits in 2020.
Two of the region’s most notable restaurant losses occurred in small towns away from Duluth, and COVID-19 was perhaps only loosely to blame.
Author and activist Susan Hasalo Sojourner died in Minneapolis on Dec. 4 at the age of 79. She lived in Duluth for more than two decades, beginning in the mid 1990s.
Sojourner fought tirelessly for justice throughout her life — for civil rights in Holmes County, Miss. and also for women’s liberation and LGBTQ+ rights during her years in Washington D.C. and Duluth. A complete obituary can be found on the Hodroff-Epstein Memorial Chapels website.