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Restaurants Posts

Thai restaurant changes name and ownership, stays in family

Thai by Thai restaurant owner Supannee Stamm

After 19 years as a restaurateur, Sumlee Beede has passed her Sala Thai restaurant on to her younger sister Supannee Stamm. The eatery at 114 W. First St. in Downtown Duluth was renamed Thai by Thai on Sept. 1.

Wasabi Japanese Cuisine to open in Duluth’s Old City Hall

The main floor of Duluth’s Old City Hall will soon be transformed into a sushi restaurant. The owners of Superior’s Wasabi Japanese Cuisine signed a lease on Monday for the space. They anticipate opening this second eatery by the same name in November or December.

The building at 132 E. Superior St. is owned by Rod Raymond of the Just Take Action restaurant group. Since 2011, the main level space has housed three restaurants: Tycoons Alehouse, the Blind Pig, and more recently Sound.

Dennis Kempton, who handles media relations for Just Take Action, says the new Wasabi Japanese Cuisine location will be modeled after its sister restaurant in Superior, which opened in March in the former O’Neill’s Pub & Liquor building at 3333 Tower Ave.

Nominees for Best New Restaurant Poll – 2016

It’s been a year and a half since Perfect Duluth Day last ran a “best new restaurant” poll. The reigning champion, the Spirit Room, is on its way to becoming a seasoned area eatery, as is the runner up, Tavern on the Hill. What’s new in Duluth-area food since then? Reopenings, additional locations and restaurant moves seem to be a trend.

Before we vote, we have to establish a list of nominees. To qualify, an establishment must: have recently opened, serve food and be located within 10 miles of Duluth (including Superior, Hermantown, Proctor or other area townships). Two Harbors and Cloquet, for example, are too far afield to be contenders in this poll.

Here’s a rundown of the recently opened restaurants we compiled. Is there one we missed? We trust you’ll let us know in the comments before we launch our poll next week.

  • Beijing Restaurant (April 2016)
  • Charley’s Grilled Subs inside Central Avenue Minit Mart (April 2016)
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (Oct. 2014)
  • Grand World Coffee (Jan. 2016)
  • Izzy’s BBQ Lounge & Grill (Aug. 2014)
  • Jimmy John’s at Miller Hill Mall (Dec. 2015)
  • KBQ Ribs food truck (Aug. 2015)
  • The King of Creams (March 2015)
  • Lake Superior Bakehouse (June 2015)
  • Lark o’ the Lake (Nov. 2015)
  • Northern Waters Restaurant (Feb. 2016)
  • El Oasis del Norte Mexican food truck (July 2015)
  • Sala Thai (April 2015)
  • Toasty’s Grilled Cheese Shop – Downtown (Dec. 2015)
  • Vintage Kitchen (Feb. 2015)
  • VN Coffee House (June 2015)

Sky Room Restaurant Adjoining the Buena Vista Motel

Sky Room at Buena Vista

A panorama view from high atop Skyline Drive overlooking Duluth. The Buena Vista Motel and its lounge and restaurant opened in the 1950s. Bob Magie, Bob Nylen and Jerry Strum bought it in 1986 and oversaw a remodel in 1995. They operated the business for nearly 20 years before selling in 2005 to developer Tim Wiklund, who demolished the structure to create the 45-unit Superior Vista condominium complex.

Giant Panda reopens downtown

Want a filling meal on your lunch break, but don’t want to break the bank? This lady will serve you right up. Qihui Li and Yi Zhong moved out of their West Duluth space and re-opened downtown just one week ago in the old Saigon Cafe location. They own and operate this restaurant, which almost has a fast-food feel. The food was served quickly, relatively cheap, and surprisingly good.

Now open Monday through Saturday until 9 p.m. at 114 W. First St., Duluth.