Northern Waters Smokehaus has been selling smoked fish, meats, salumi, and sandwiches out of its little DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace location for so long that some regulars call it an institution.
To celebrate 20 years of smoking, slinging sandwiches and stumbling through the seasons with various levels of success, Northern Waters is offering discounts, sales and giveaways all year long. For the month of July the business is conducting a Duluth-wide (within its delivery range) Scavenger Hunt.
Casey Webb, host of the Travel Channel program Man v. Food, was in Duluth and neighboring communities in April. He visited Northern Waters Smokehaus in Canal Park, Breeze Inn in Lakewood Township and Betty’s Pies in Silver Creek Township. The travel channel has announced the episode will air on July 9 at 8 p.m. and repeat on July 10 at 11 a.m. and July 14 at 12:30 p.m.
The show summary:
Casey Webb heads to Duluth, Minnesota, where he tastes the city’s best fish fry, visits a specialty sandwich shop and attempts to finish a three-pound platter of pie and ice cream in 20 minutes or less.
Just two years after opening, the Northern Waters Restaurant at Mount Royal Shopping Center will close. A news release from owners Eric and Lynn Goerdt indicates the business has been sold and a new restaurant will replace it in early 2018.
Scrolling through files on my computer at work, I can pretty much trace the progression of the business through spreadsheets, price labels and photographs (candid and professional) of events, company parties, and breaks in the action behind the counter. Families have grown, ex-staffers have gone to rehab, become police officers, found god, and earned master’s degrees, prices have more than quintupled, and previously experimental recipes have been honed into lexicon. When I say “progression,” I mean pile: an amorphous mass of guesswork, troubleshooting and triage that has taken shape and could be temporarily (like for the purposes of this essay) deemed linear.
I work for Northern Waters Smokehaus, a small business gone large. The retail side of the enterprise started out 15 years ago with the idea that we were going to offer a small, specialized service (smoked fish and imported cheese) to a specialized audience (those with the monetary means coupled with the proper palettes). We had five employees counting the owner himself, who took care of pretty much everything besides front-line sales (though he did that as well from time to time, and was utterly expert at it — I think a dozen bored housewives fell in love with him that first year we were open, charmed irresistibly by his earnest and passionate obsession for good food).
It’s no surprise Northern Waters Restaurant crushed Perfect Duluth Day’s best new restaurant poll. The eagerly anticipated eatery just opened in February, but has swiftly won the admiration and bellies of Twin Ports residents, as evidenced by garnering 67 percent of the vote.
Fans of all things cured and smoked will rejoice in knowing Northern Waters Smokehaus has opened its much-anticipated Woodland Avenue location in the Chester Park – UMD neighborhood. While the new restaurant offers some familiar lunch items from the Smokehaus, the menu is more expansive and includes alcoholic beverages.
Northern Waters Smokehaus announced today a second location will open in the Mount Royal Shopping Center in Duluth’s Chester Park – UMD neighborhood, near the UMD campus. The space at 1608 Woodland Ave. was previously occupied by Bixby’s Café, which operated there from 1997 to the end of 2014.
Founded in 1998, Northern Waters specializes in smoked fish. Its tiny shop in the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace has won numerous awards over the years, including PDD’s Perfect Lunch Restaurant. The new location at Mount Royal is expected to open in the fall.
When it comes to lunch in Duluth, the sandwich is king. Not one pizza place, burger joint or Asian restaurant managed to crack the top four in Perfect Duluth Day’s poll to determine the best lunch restaurants. Furthermore, the place with the best sandwiches in town, Northern Waters Smokehaus, smoked the competition. A solid majority of 55.4 percent of voters agreed Northern Waters is the best mid-day meal around.
Clearly the deliciousness is no secret — there’s almost always a noon-hour line at Northern Waters.