With photos by Duluth’s Derek Montgomery.
Haven’t you always wanted a checklist for places to get soused in Duluth? Well, fortunately the city’s Alcohol, Gambling and Tobacco Commission provides that very list. For the second edition of DuluthiLeaks — Perfect Duluth Day’s new feature in which public documents are released as if they contain secret information leaked from an anonymous whistle blower — we take a look at the list of on-sale liquor licenses issued in Duluth. The list breaks down which places can be open on Sunday, have more than one bar, permit dancing, stay open past 2 a.m. without serving alcohol, or serve alcohol between 1 and 2 a.m.
Trailblazing craft brewery owner and longtime Duluth bar developer Tim Nelson is ready to launch his newest drinking establishment in a historic, working waterfront neighborhood on the Superior side of the Twin Ports.
The Cedar Lounge, 1715 N. Third Street, just off Tower Avenue, opens in the shadows of the Harvest State Co-op grain elevators Friday, Aug. 26. Nelson and his wife, Naomi, purchased the historic bar building in December and the property has undergone a seven-month restoration.
As we enjoy the last dregs of summer in all its boozy glory, we’re on a mission to determine Duluth’s “Perfect Drinking Establishment.” Last week we asked for nominations. The primary criteria (besides offering libations) was location. Bars had to be located within 10 miles of Duluth.
With your input, we compiled 23 nominees that run the gamut from dingy dive bars to sophisticated cocktail rooms. Now it’s time to vote for your favorite. This is a runoff poll. If the bar you initially voted for is eliminated, you can vote again among the remaining options. We’ll post the results in a few days.
This poll is now closed. The results were:
Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake – 34.5 percent
Breeze Inn – 31 percent
Red Herring Lounge – 18.5 percent
Bent Tap at Bent Paddle Brewing – 16 percent
In Slow TV news, I’m taking a break this month from filming farming in meticulous detail to take you to a tourist trap in Switzerland. The World of James Bond museum sits atop Schilthorn in the Berner Oberland region because that’s where they filmed that one 007 movie with Telly Savalas. You might remember Telly Savalas from his classic Visit Duluth TV spot. George Lazenby starred as James Bond. You won’t remember him at all.
For the first edition of DuluthiLeaks — Perfect Duluth Day’s new feature in which public documents are released as if they contain secret information leaked from an anonymous whistle blower — we take a look at the development of Duluth’s Gateway Plaza. The “landscaped plaza with a concrete sculptural element shaped in the form of a sail” that sits on the western edge of Duluth’s downtown was envisioned and built in the 1970s as a “landmark entrance” to the business district. Below is a look at early plans and sketches for the “well landscaped triangle.”
Here’s a bit of what you’ll find in this week’s PDD Calendar:
The Miller Auction Service holds its weekly auction on Monday, people can play mini-golf in Superior to benefit the Old Firehouse and Police Museum, the Head of the Lakes Fair runs from Tuesday through Sunday, the public can attend an open house on the Superior Street reconstruction project, the Lake Superior Zoo is showing its Wild Side and Ladies’ Night Karaoke is going down at R.T. Quinlan’s on Wednesday.
The Silk Shieks bring the instrumental thunder to the Red Herring, little tykes can join up with the River Rovers Nature Playgroup, Sour Fest 2016 is the place for people who like their beers to make them pucker up, Jack Sparrow stars in the final Movies in the Park of the year, the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival is back, there’s a block party going down on Jefferson Street, the fifth Superior Man Triathlon will host over 400 athletes and the 125th anniversary of Minnesota’s state parks and trails is celebrated.
When I was nineteen my parents dropped me off on US Highway 2. I had a pack, tent and sleeping bag, a couple hundred dollars in one pocket, a polished agate for a lucky charm in another, and a cardboard sign that said “Seattle.” I’d soon learn it’s better to have a sign that says “west” than the name of a specific city almost two-thousand miles away.
The first person I met was another hitchhiker, a distinguished fellow, grey at the temples, traveling the country playing piano in nursing homes for his meals. Though he carried a miniature book of musical scores to lighten his pack, the odd thing was, as he stood along the road waiting for rides, he lifted weights. About fifty pounds worth. He couldn’t see leaving them at home. Maybe it was a ploy to weed out the wrong drivers, some sort of immediate ultimatum: love me, love my barbells. Those fearful of excess baggage need not engage.
A local woman had us throw our gear into the back of her truck and got us out of town. Then, straight out of my youthful road-trip dreams, I was picked up by a semi and rode high in the cab all the way to North Dakota. I spent the night in the open on a bit of scruffy highway median, sleeping in the dew.
As the Duluth school district struggles to find money to pay for the insanely expensive Red Plan, a similar situation is playing out to the north. In 2009, St. Louis County School District officials and consultant Johnson Controls argued that closing several old schools and building new consolidated schools would result in significant savings for the school district. Anyone who followed that publicity campaign could not have failed to notice marked similarities with Duluth’s Red Plan, which was also pushed by Johnson Controls.
In fact, as Marshall Helmberger points out in a recent Ely Timberjay story, almost all of the claims and promises have turned out to be worthless.