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R.I.P. Posts

Letica’s Iron Mug to close Sept. 14

Miss you Rick Boo.

Feel free to share your Rick stories in the comments.

R.I.P. Anderson Furniture

R.I.P. Bruce Hagen, former Superior mayor

Bruce Hagen died July 26 after a lengthy illness. He was 73. Hagan served as Superior’s mayor from 1975 to 1987, and from 2011 to 2017, when he retired during his fifth term.

R.I.P. Cesar Pelli, architect of UMD’s Weber Music Hall

Gallery of Defunct Duluth Literary and Arts ’Zines

In addition to the various (“legitimate,” if you will) literary and arts magazines and journals in the Duluth area, past and present, there is a long tradition of renegade ’zines circulated for short periods of time. What’s technically the difference between the two? Well, a magazine or journal tends to have a glossy cover and be governed by an institution or a nonprofit board of directors. A ’zine tends to be printed on a photocopier for limited circulation and produced by an individual or disorganized group.

R.I.P. Max Taubert, 1953 to 2019

Max A. Taubert, proprietor of Duluth Timber Company on Duluth’s waterfront and the historic Ehlers General Store in Cornucopia, died in his home on April 25 at the age of 66.

There will be a celebration of life event at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth on June 9 at 6 p.m.

Martha’s Daughter restaurant has closed, business will continue as popup

Photo by Wolfskull Creative

On the same day reconstruction of East Superior Street begins in Duluth, the strip’s hottest new restaurant has announced its run is over. After a little more than a year in business as a brick-and-mortar establishment, Martha’s Daughter is reverting to popup status.

R.I.P. Lew Martin

The Superior Telegram reports longtime broadcaster and public servant Lew Martin died Sunday after his 102nd birthday.

Martin began his career at WEBC Radio in the 1930s and transitioned to television in the 1950s. The Telegram reports “his first television broadcast came from the two-car garage that served as a makeshift studio beneath a transmitter. He served as an anchor at WDSM Channel 6 — later KBJR — for 16 years.”

Martin was on the Douglas County Board off and on from 1968 to 2012.

Selective Focus: Mike Scholtz

Mike Scholtz makes movies about odd little things that no one seems to know about, but after watching them, you think, “Why didn’t I know about that?” Also, these are not little things, they are big parts of some people’s lives. The world premiere of his latest film “Riplist” at the Fargo Film Fest was just announced today. Mike talks about what drives him to dig into these stories and presents some trailers from his work.

I’m a documentary filmmaker who enjoys making funny films about serious subjects. Or serious films about funny subjects. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure which. But I do like to sneak up on an audience with a few laughs before I hit them with the soul-crushing realization that we’re all going to die in a cold, uncaring universe.

That’s how I approached my latest film, Riplist. It’s about a group of friends from Fargo who compete in a celebrity deadpool. It’s a contest where players draft celebrities they think might die in the next year, like fantasy football but with elderly presidents and ailing musicians. I hope people are as morbidly fascinated with this hobby as I am, because it’s premiering at the Fargo Film Festival in March. I suspect it will play at some other festivals in the area shortly after that. If you like your comedy as black as your soul, I think you’ll like this film.

Ten years without Bayside Market

Ten years ago today, Bayside Market at 1901 Minnesota Ave. closed after 37 years in business. Originally named Clem’s Market, it was the only grocery store in the Park Point neighborhood.

R.I.P. Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant & Bar

Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in Superior has announced it’s closing for the third time. This time seems to have more finality to it.

So long, West Duluth Kmart

The Kmart store in my neighborhood closed last weekend. Now there’s a giant empty space in the Spirit Valley Mall in West Duluth, with a faded area above the doors where a sign once read: “Big Kmart.”

It took more than 30 years for the store to run itself out of business, and I’d probably need a degree in finance and a long look inside the books of parent company Sears Holdings Corporation to ever understand. How does a neighborhood’s only department store — a place that’s known for always having lines at the cash registers — go out of business?

The answer to that question might be that retail stores are struggling in general, and any store with massive overhead costs that provides a lousy shopping experience doesn’t stand a chance. And the West Duluth Kmart was a lousy shopping experience.

The lines at Kmart perhaps weren’t due to the high volume of traffic, but instead the understaffing at the store. Target or Wal-Mart might have a dozen checkouts open at once; Kmart seldom had more than two.

R.I.P. Carter Hotel

The Duluth News Tribune reports the vacant Carter Hotel building at 17 N. Second Ave. E. will be torn down. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will replace it with a surface parking lot for its Fond-du-Lac Casino.

R.I.P. Marlin “Bud” Nelson of Madeline Island Oasis

Visitors to Madeline Island this summer will discover one of its icons has passed on. Marlin “Bud” Nelson, proprietor of the Madeline Island Oasis, died earlier this year. A celebration of life event is planned for Saturday, June 23.