Bars / Drinking Establishments Posts

Convivial Memories of an Epicurean Hedonist Con Mucho Gusto

My whole life was organized around going out for drinks. The party’s over.

The Duluth art and music scene seems preserved in amber. I can see it in my mind’s eye from every angle, but I can’t touch it.

Has the virus infected time?

I was days away from participating in a group art show in Duluth Coffee Company and its Roasteria taproom. The Facebook event page was hours from launching. All the art is on the walls. I left a hammer there I was going to go back for, just before the stay-at-home orders unfolded. It’s probably right where I left it, timelessly suspended as if let go by an astronaut in orbit.

The Embassy art-church had just opened, promising untold events, unseen sights, and unheard sounds. It reached as if for the hand of God in the Sistine Chapel — a frozen gesture.

Richardson Bros. Ghost Story “The Haunted Groom”

“The Haunted Groom” is a supernatural adventure story set largely in the Duluth bar scene. It explores PTSD, addiction, abusive relationships, and the coronavirus lockdown. Full story below.

Part 1: I Married a Ghost. Part 2: Trapdoor to Hell. Part 3: The Demonizer.

Ripped at the Kom-on-Inn in 2000

[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Twenty years ago he visited the Kom-on-Inn in West Duluth and published this report for the April 5, 2000 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper.]

Granted, it does not take much to amaze me, but when I entered the Kom-on-Inn my spine just about shot out of the top of my head. I had always been under the impression that the Kom-on-Inn was a boring bar that was empty most of the time. But nothing could be further from the truth. It was … I don’t even know where to begin, so let me just walk you through the place.

First of all, it is important to know that everyone—every last person in the bar—was smoking a cigarette. I am not exaggerating when I say it was difficult to see across the room. At the very back of the bar, where I came in, a bunch of Tommy Boys talked on cellular telephones and shot pool with heavily hair-sprayed and lip-linered girls drinking bottles of Mountain Dew. Apparently they were stationed there to give newcomers like me the wrong impression of the place, for just past them, everything became drastically different.

After months lying in wait, Boreal House open in West Duluth

Katie Fast, left, and Julie LaTourelle stand outside their new drinking establishment last summer, before remodeling work began. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

Duluthians Katie Fast and Julie LaTourelle will open the doors to West Duluth’s newest drinking establishment at 3 p.m. today. The Boreal House at 330 N. 57th Ave. W. sits adjacent to the neighborhood’s oldest drinking establishment, the Kom-on-Inn.

Taco Arcada closing; Noble Pour opening

A post on the Taco Arcada Facebook page announced Dec. 14 is the final day of business for the arcade/restaurant at 1902 W. Superior St. Owner Tom Hanson told WDIO News the business was doing fine financially, but limited kitchen space at Corktown Deli & Brews, where the tacos were prepared, made it too difficult to produce the volume and variety of food needed to supply customers of two restaurants.

Hanson also told WDIO a new tenant is lined up for the space.

Meanwhile, across the street at 1907 W. Superior St., Hanson is opening a new cocktail lounge called the Noble Pour on Dec. 15.

Duluth Tap Exchange brings self-serve brews to Lincoln Park

The Duluth Beer Exchange will feature 40 self-serve taps offering beer, wine, cider and other beverages. The space is expected to open in December.

Beer and wine lovers will fill their own glass in a new, high-tech Lincoln Park drinking establishment scheduled to open this winter.

Ripped at the Laundromat in 1999

[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. In this essay the ol’ Sultan of Sot went out for a “soak and spin” at the Chalet Lounge, 4833 Miller Trunk Highway. The article originally appeared in the December 1999 issue of Duluth’s then-monthly Ripsaw newspaper.]

I hate doing laundry. It’s just one of those exceedingly practical things that isn’t any fun in the least and does nothing but stand in the way of gettin’ ripped and having a good time. Luckily, I found the Chalet Lounge — Duluth’s only Laundromat that is attached to a bar.

Actually, the place isn’t in Duluth, but Hermantown. “Laundromat Hermantown, MN” the sign outside boldly states. On the sidewalk beneath it lay two battered and broken washing machines.

I hauled my basket of dirty clothes inside, eager to get the wash going so I could start drinking. A big guy in a leather jacket leaned against a dryer reading a copy of Real Estate Viewer magazine. I tried really hard not to let him see my Snuggle fabric softener. The thought entered my mind that it might actually be more fun to have a few drinks and then do the wash, but I quickly dismissed this idea, imagining dire consequences.

Two Harbors Carmody 61 closed until further notice

The bar/restaurant once operated by Rick Boo, Carmody 61 in Two Harbors, closed this week for unspecified reasons. Boo died at age 60 in August and was also part of the management at Carmody Irish Pub and Brewing in Duluth.

Both Carmody establishments have been on and off recent lists from the Minnesota Department of Revenue for delinquent payment of taxes.

Ed Gleeson, a partner in the enterprises, said he is “duty bound” to not comment until Boo’s estate has been probated.

“That’s for the family’s sake,” he said.

Ripped at the Boogieman Project in 1999

[Editor’s note: Before the NorShor Theatre became a spiffed up Duluth Playhouse venue it hosted a variety of concerts and parties, such as the annual Boogieman Project at Halloween time. For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Twenty years ago he paid a visit to the NorShor and filed the report below, originally published in the Ripsaw newspaper.]

I was completely ripped. To the north of me stood a minotaur. To the south was Ernie from Sesame Street. To the east was a person dressed in about four hundred flashing colored lights. To the west was Kool-Aid Man. No, it wasn’t a bad case of delirium tremens, it was the NorShor Theatre’s fourth annual Halloween party, otherwise known as “The Boogieman Project.”

The NorShor was all decked out for a party of massive proportions. Live bands rocked the house in the main downstairs theater while all manner of freaks and weirdos got funky on the dance floor — a space in front of the stage where the seating was long ago removed. There was a bar setup in the theater to complement the usual one in the balcony mezzanine lounge, where even more bloody surgeons and Star Wars characters drank it up and raised hell to even more live music. God, I love Halloween.

Blue Rock Coffee and Wine Cafe planned for Miller Hill

The Noble Pour cocktail lounge planned for Lincoln Park

Duluth Grill owner Tom Hanson stands behind the bar at the Noble Pour, a new lounge he is developing at 1907 W. Superior St. Hanson purchased the bar from the now-closed Red Herring Lounge.

A new Lincoln Park night spot will feature an artifact from the recently closed Red Herring Lounge, a well-loved but short-lived downtown Duluth music venue.

West Duluth bar scene adding Boreal House

Katie Fast, left, and Julie LaTourelle stand outside 330 N. 57th Ave. W. The two women purchased the former home of RJ’s Coffee Den and plan to open a new bar in West Duluth. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

Two women plan to open a new bar later this fall in a West Duluth neighborhood that boasts some of the oldest drinking establishments in the city.

Katie Fast and Julie LaTourelle, operating as K & J Industries LLC, recently purchased the former RJ’s Coffee Den at 330 N. 57th Ave. W. The century-old building is being remodeled and is expected to reopen as the Boreal House in late November.

Postcard from Paul Bunyan Bar & Grill

This undated postcard, published by Kaeser & Blair of Cincinnati, Ohio, depicts interior and exterior scenes at the Paul Bunyan Bar & Grill in Downtown Duluth.

Duluth Flame Nightclub will soon have new owner

List of Old Bars in Superior

Photo by Jennifer Moore

Back in May, a collection of Superior bar memorabilia was briefly displayed at the Spirit Room. On a sheet of white paper, a list of old Superior bars was created, and folks passing through added to it.