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Canal Park Posts

Hoops Brewing opens June 27

A year and a half of planning and hard work has come to fruition. Hoops Brewing is set to open on Tuesday, June 27.

New operator will reopen Crabby Ol’ Bill’s by June

Starting in June, Duluthians and tourists will once again be able to get their mini doughnut fix out of a retired fishing vessel in Canal Park.

The fate of Crabby Ol’ Bill’s snack shack remained in question after Steve and Susan Smith announced they would be closing it back in December after five years running the business. Last week, the Duluth City Council approved a lease for developer Brian Forcier of Titanium Partners to operate the seasonal food stand based within the Nels J, an iconic boat that sits adjacent to the boardwalk near the North Pier Lighthouse.

A Spring Dance on the Pier in Duluth

Dancer Logan Moniot of Lake Nebagamon is featured in this new music video shot by Jasper Meddock Productions. The song is “Die Trying” by Michl. In the video, Moniot dances along the lighthouse pier in Duluth as if it’s not even cold out.

Postcard from Grandma’s Saloon & Deli

Grandma's Saloon Duluth

Founded by Andy Borg and Mick Paulucci, Grandma’s Saloon opened at 522 S. Lake Ave. on Feb. 8, 1976. The undated postcard shown above depicts the restaurant’s early days, when it went by the name Grandma’s Saloon & Deli. The moniker eventually was changed to Grandma’s Saloon & Grill.

New Canal Park beer hall among largest in Minnesota

Hoops Brewing founder Dave Hoops and Head Brewer Melissa Rainville pose in front of recently installed beer kettles. Hoops Brewing plans to open in late May or June.

Hoops Brewing founder Dave Hoops and Head Brewer Melissa Rainville pose in front of recently installed equipment. Hoops Brewing plans to open in late May or June.

Seven stainless steel tanks and a catwalk preassembled with pipes and pumps were lifted off flatbed trucks and squeezed through the stone doorway of a former Canal Park restaurant on March 21.

The equipment, including four huge fermentors and two beer tanks, was hauled inside on heavy duty carts and laid on a new custom-built floor like tipped-over beer bottles. The massive move, which stopped traffic outside 325 S. Lake Ave., was a major step in plans by longtime Duluth brewmaster Dave Hoops to open Hoops Brewing, a beer hall that will match the largest in Minnesota.

Duluth Smells Ocean Breezes

Duluth Smells Ocean Breezes

Below is the complete text of a Duluth story from page six of The Observer out of Saline, Mich., from Thursday, June 14, 1934, reprinted from Collier’s magazine.

Mammoth Saloon

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Back in the day it was sometimes tough work just to get a drink. Above is an undated stereoview reproduction from an 1875 McKenzie original. The reverse reads: “Duluth, Minn. in 1875. Mammoth Saloon, Jake Liedel, Prop. Lake Ave 2 blocks north of canal.”

Duluth is a Giant Ice Skating Rink, Park Point/Canal Park Edition

With underwater pancake ice.

Paulucci complex sold for $7 million

paulucci-buildingBusiness North is reporting, via Finance & Commerce, the Paulucci Building at 525 S. Lake Ave. in Canal Park was sold in November for $6 million.

The buyer: Star PB LLC
The seller: Etor Properties LLC

The story notes that “in a second related transaction, Star PB LLC paid $1 million to Buckeye Corp., another private investment entity, for a 16,000-square-foot retail and office building next door, at 501 Lake Ave. S.”

The Paulucci Building is named for the late Duluth businessman Jeno Paulucci. It was built in 1915 by Stone-Ordean-Wells, a wholesale grocery firm. The neighboring structure was built in 1909 as the Buckeye Building for National Biscuit.

Vikre Distillery is the most prominent business operating out of the two buildings.

Vikre distillery wins national award

emilyandjoelvikre

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.

Parking Crunch in Canal Park

The season for enforcing paid parking in Canal Park has begun (see the DNT article here). Parking in Canal Park will get tight and expensive.

Lake Superior Magazine image

Lake Superior Magazine image

The photo at left is of pre-redevelopment Canal Park, not parking this weekend. But you get the idea.

If you are reading this and remember life in Duluth when this was the beach, I’d love to hear stories.

Meanwhile, parking…

I used to meet friends at Endion Station, which was the (I think) last cheap place to park in Canal Park until the meters were upgraded.

And for a while, I joined the Great Lakes Aquarium because the free parking given members of the Aquarium was cheaper than parking in Canal Park. Plus the Aquarium is awesome.

What is the last secret of the local for getting into Canal Park this summer with a car?
 

Canal Park Timber Lodge Steakhouse won’t reopen

Canal Park Timber Lodge Steakhouse Timberlodge Steakhouse

After 20 years in business, the Timber Lodge Steakhouse in Canal Park is calling it quits. Bruce Taher, CEO of Timber Lodge’s parent company, Taher Inc., says he regrets having to make the decision. He hoped to close the restaurant for the winter and reopen it this spring, but a number of challenges precipitated the restaurant’s demise.

Map of the Day: Duluth’s Canal Parking

Canal Park Map

After a ridiculously warm weekend, it seems like spring has arrived early. Before you know it, thousands of Minneapolis-types like myself will be driving up Interstate 35 to the cool shores of Gitche Gumee.

Since its post-industrial low point a few decades ago, Duluth has built Canal Park into one of the top-drawing tourist spots in the state. It’s definitely a great place, but I continue to be amazed by how much prime Canal Park real estate is occupied by pavement for storing cars. After a visit last fall, I made this map and found there are 21 acres of surface parking in Canal Park.

Canal Park parking has been … um … streamlined

The Duluth News Tribune reported on Monday that rates have changed at three parking lots in Canal Park. Two examples are the Northwest Iron lot (between Grandma’s Saloon and the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace) and the Lighthouse lot (near the lighthouse pier). The minimum rate is now $3 for three hours, up from last year’s $2 for two hours.

The DNT notes:

Parking Operations Specialist Mark Bauer said the city decided to make the changes to streamline the parking process.

“Instead of trying to interpret and guess how much time you’re going to be there, we thought it would be easier to just simply pay for this three-hour block of time,” Bauer said. “It simply covers you up to that three-hour limit.”

There has been no word yet on whether hotels in the area will be streamlining their processes by invoking a three-night minimum stay or whether bars will enforce a three-drink minimum for customer convenience.

The Rosewood Wonder

Photos by Jamie Merideth

Photos by Jamie Merideth

The view from the fourth floor of DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace is amazing. Outside the windows are the icons of Duluth: Lake Superior and the Aerial Lift Bridge. On the inside sits Mike Furo, quietly bringing new life to old musical instruments as the owner of Rosewood Music.