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Bars / Drinking Establishments Posts

O’Neill’s Pub and Liquor in Superior is closed

oneills-pub-superior-wiAfter 23 years in business, the owners of O’Neill’s Pub and Liquor closed its doors after ringing in the new year with customers on Saturday.

The laid back Irish pub at 3333 Tower Avenue in Superior featured weekly $1 tap beer and $2 Bloody Mary specials and had the distinction of being Superior’s only drive-through liquor store.

In 2014, Thrillest touted O’Neill’s as one of the top ten drive-through liquor stores in the country. Wisconsin is one of only six states where this modern convenience is legal.

Mystery Photo #43: Does anyone know which old bar this was?

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This picture was originally posted on the Duluthians of Zenith Facebook page. So far, the Pickwick and Spalding Hotel have been eliminated. The poster figures it must be a bar in the Duluth area because it’s stamped with a Duluth Photographers name on the back. Someone in the thread recommended posting it here because you guys know everything there is to know.

Vikre distillery wins national award

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Vikre Distillery took first place in a USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice award for best craft specialty spirits, beating out major players like St. George Spirits and Koval Distillery.

Joel and Emily Vikre founded the craft distillery in 2012 and started selling gin and aquavit to the public in 2014. With traditional distilling methods, Lake Superior water and the inventive use of local botanicals foraged in the Northwoods, Vikre is creating unparalleled products.

Perfect Drinking Establishment: Sir Benedict’s Tavern

PDD-Drinking-Establishment2016Area boozers and barflies have reached a general consensus: Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake is the perfect Duluth drinking establishment. The English-themed pub located at 805 E. Superior St. netted 34.5 percent of the vote in Perfect Duluth Day’s poll.

Sir Ben’s is a bit of an institution. It opened as a pub in 1978 (before that the building was a service station) with a focus on sandwiches and beer. The favored watering hole has long attracted a range of fans, from college students to musicians and business people.

Owners Josh and Kaila Stotts took over the tavern in April 2015. Josh was surprised to learn about the PDD poll. When asked what patrons appreciate about the bar, he said. “We try to offer a welcoming ambiance — a place where people can relax and feel really comfortable.”

Josh Stotts,owner of Sir Ben's

Josh Stotts

Is Bottoms Up the beer pouring device of the future?

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Mike Mohr in front of one of his Bottoms Up beer dispensers

Gronk’s Bar and Grill in Superior has long been known for serving burgers upside down. In February, the bar was the first in the area to install a remarkable tap-beer delivery system that fills glasses from the bottom up. Since then another Superior drinking establishment, Jack’s Place, has also added a Bottoms Up system in its beer garden.

Gronk’s owner Mike Mohr first saw the Bottoms Up system at the Wisconsin State Fair. He was impressed with its technology and speed. Later, when his daughter was advocating for more craft beer taps at Gronk’s, he thought the novelty might be a good way to draw beer fans in.

DuluthiLeaks: 87 Places to Drink ’em Up

LiquorHaven’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.

New owners reopen Cedar Lounge in Superior

Tim and Naomi Nelson pose inside the Cedar Lounge just off Tower Avenue in Superior.

Tim and Naomi Nelson pose inside the Cedar Lounge just off Tower Avenue in Superior.

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.

Poll: Best Drinking Establishment in the Duluth Area

best barAs 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.

At this time we are down to the Top Four: Bent Tap at Bent Paddle Brewing, Breeze Inn, Red Herring Lounge and Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake.

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

What is the perfect Duluth-area drinking establishment?

Danger - AlcoholThe time is almost upon us for a poll about something most Duluthians are practiced in: drinking.

We know Duluthians like to drink. In fact, St. Louis County rates among the top counties in the country for binge drinking, with a rate of 26.7 percent (though surely some Iron Rangers are skewing the percentage).

Though it’s not a statistic to be proud of, we certainly understand the inclination. And we’d like to pinpoint where the people prefer to imbibe. The poll isn’t scientific. How you choose the “perfect” drinking establishment is purely subjective. You can nominate a craft brewery, a swanky joint with handcrafted cocktails or a crusty dive bar with the cheapest swill and shots of whiskey. It’s up to you. Name your favorite bar, pub, saloon, nightclub, watering hole or whatever you call it in the comments to this post.

Once we compile an ample list of nominees, we’ll post the poll and the people will decide. It will be a runoff vote where the list of options will be whittled down during the voting process as favorites become apparent.

Any drinking establishment in Duluth or 10 miles of its border is eligible for nomination. Bars in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the many bordering townships qualify for nomination, but more distant places like Two Harbors and Cloquet do not.

New 7 West Taphouse on Tower Avenue could open in September

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A delay in financing stalled interior design work several months, but owners of the 7 West Taphouse in Superior say they plan to open their burger and beer business in mid-September.

Norm’s Beer & Brats Demolition Video

normThe old Polish Club meets its demise. Video by Tony Rogers.

PDD Pronunciation Guide: Vikre

Vikre PronunciationIn episode one of Perfect Duluth Day’s Pronunciation Guide series:

Emily Vikre, Vikre Distillary co-owner, demonstrates the proper pronunciation of “Vikre.”

Epic Restaurant & Lounge opening soon in Superior

IMG_8305Superior will have a new fine-dining establishment with the opening of Epic Restaurant & Lounge, tentatively planned for sometime in May.

The restaurant, lounge and event venue will be located in the old Joe’s Pagoda Chinese Restaurant location at 3223 Tower Ave., between Campbell Lumber & Supply and Grizzly’s Food-Fired Grill. Joe’s Pagoda owners, Joe and Sue Hear, retired in 2015 after 16 years in business.

Seasonal restaurants reopening in and around Duluth for 2016

IMG_8288Nothing signifies the emergence of spring quite like the reappearance of malts on the Duluth Lakewalk and the wafting scent of fried fare from seasonal burger joints. For those ready to indulge, here’s a rundown on seasonal restaurant re-openings.

Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet reopened on March 20, the first day of spring. The classic hamburger stand is a favorite among locals and a popular stop for Twin Cities travelers headed to cabins up north. The restaurant, now in it’s 56th season, is known for its hand-pattied burgers and onion rings, and was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. A&Dubs

A & Dubs, another nostalgic burger joint in Duluth’s West End, will reopen on Mother’s Day, May 8. The seasonal, family-run business at 3131 W. Third St. was founded in 1948 as Duluth’s first drive-in restaurant. A & Dubs holds a special place in the hearts of residents of western Duluth. It’s a remarkable relic; nowhere else in Duluth has ice-cold root beer and burger baskets delivered by carhops for in-vehicle consumption.

Ice cream aficionados will be pleased to know the Denfeld Dairy Queen and the PortLand Malt Shoppe are already serving up decadent desserts.

Historic Androy hotel bar gets makeover as Steel Toe Pub

Ben and Margie Regner, photo by Lissa Maki

Ben and Margie Regner

Steel Toe Pub quietly opened in February in the historic Androy Hotel’s lobby at 1213 Tower Avenue in Superior. Patrons of the former Androy Lounge might find the pub unrecognizable as the space has been extensively renovated in the past year.

Owners Margie and Dave Regner have also been proprietors of the hotel since 1986. Margie said her husband and sons did much of the work on the bar themselves, ripping out layers of false ceilings and taking down several walls to reveal exposed brick. “We totally gutted the whole place,” she says.