West Duluth Posts

Gannucci’s Italian Market on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Guy Fieri buzzed through Duluth and Superior in July 2014 to shoot four segments for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. In this clip he visits Gannucci’s Italian Market in West Duluth. (A 30-second commercial precedes the segment.)

Four recent changes in West Duluth

Kwik Trip construction Auto Stop slab Wild West Liquor Kosta's Gyros

Spirit Valley Days are underway in West Duluth. Here are a four observed changes in the neighborhood in recent days:

  • Construction for the new Kwik Trip on Raleigh Street and Grand Avenue has kicked into high gear. The building went up late last week, making a fall opening seem likely.
  • Around the same time the Kwik Trip went up, the former Auto Stop four blocks away was demolished. It had closed roughly five years ago. Materials for the Grand Avenue reconstruction are piled on part of the property at present.
  • Wild West Liquor at 318 N. Central Ave. closed its doors at the end of July. There is a for-sale sign in the window. All four West Duluth liquor stores that operated before Super One Liquor opened in 2010 are now gone. Liberty Liquor closed when Super One acquired its building. The former Spirit Bottle Shoppe closed in 2012 and became Shake It, a nutritional protein shake and juice bar. The old Sportsman’s Liquor at 3904 Grand Ave. is now the Law Office of Jessica L. Sterle.
  • Kosta’s Gyros abandoned its operation at the Minit Mart (formerly Little Store, still brandishing the Little Store name) on Central Avenue. Word has it there’s a new Kosta’s by Menards in Hermantown.

Also, the Duluth News Tribune reports that Community Action Duluth plans to build a greenhouse at the former Westminster Church location on Grand Avenue near Denfeld High School.

Custom Cheetos Speedboat

cheetosboat

Is Custom Cab Co. in Duluth bringing their service to the lake with this tricked out Cheetos boat or is it secretly filled with an infinite amount of Cheetos?

Postcards from the Arrowhead Bridge

New Arrowhead Bridge 1927b

Arrowhead Bridge in the 1940s

The Arrowhead Bridge connected West Duluth to Superior’s Billing’s Park neighborhood across the St. Louis River for 57 years. Built by the Arrowhead Bridge Co., it opened on March 15, 1927. The company charged a toll to cross the bridge until 1963, when Minnesota and Wisconsin state officials paid $200,000 to make it a toll-free public bridge.

The Arrowhead Bridge was dismantled in 1985 after the opening of the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge.

Vote Chocolate Ants

Vote Chocolate Ants

Perhaps someone can explain.

Is this bear poop on my front lawn?

poop

These droppings were six feet from my front door this morning on North 42nd Avenue West in West Duluth.

Select Images from the 1930 Denfeld Oracle

The Oracle 1930 Denfeld High SchoolWith graduation ceremonies taking place this week, we look back 85 years ago to see what the Denfeld class of 1930 looked like. That year the school’s Oracle strove to inspire students “with a steadfast purpose to build well upon the foundations of the past,” and was dedicated to “the spirit of industry and progress which has existed in the hearts and minds of the citizens of Western Duluth.” The inside folds of the book feature a “Decorative Map of Western Duluth, with which we begin this post.

The senior class held two successful paper sales, a Christmas card sale and a class play to fund the yearbook in 1930. The organizations that typically funded the Oracle instead gave money to the pipe organ fund; Denfeld’s pipe organ had been purchased in 1926 for $25,000.

Decorative Map of Western Duluth

I hadn’t heard there was a boulevard scavenger hunt going on in West Duluth, but clearly I am the winner

Tim Conway is Dorf

Old Klearflax warehouse is a-comin’ down

Klearflax 2015

As previously reported on PDD, Walker Display has moved its operations out of West Duluth, and its former location on Grand Avenue is being demolished to make way for a Kwik Trip convenience store. The demolition process has revealed the former exterior of the building’s west side — a reminder that it once served as a warehouse for Klearflax Linen Rugs Co.

PhTSD

West Duluth Pizza Hut

So I’m on the way home two weeks ago and sitting at the traffic light in on Central and Grand thinking I’m having some strange wish sandwich, déjà vu flashback episode. I know the post-traumatic Pizza Hut syndrome can be resurgent, but I swear they took the sign down months ago. Am I crazy?

Walker Display moving to Duluth Airpark

Walker Display

Walker Display, a locally owned art-display system manufacturer and distributor, is moving its operations from West Duluth to a warehouse at the Airpark in Duluth Heights. Its former location at 6520 Grand Avenue will be demolished in the coming months to make way for a new Kwik Trip convenience store.

Joe Lundeen’s Shoes & Shoe Repairing

The re-siding job going on at the apartment building at 6301 Grand Ave. exposed this sign for Joseph A. Lundeen’s shoe shop. A quick search of city directories indicates Lundeen got his start with the Hartman Shoe Co. and by the mid-1920s went into business for himself in the Cormier Dry Goods building at 6227 Grand Ave. By 1950 he had moved across the avenue to the building shown above.

Ice Climbing at Casket Quarry in West Duluth

A group from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Outdoor Recreation Living and Learning Community take on Casket Quarry on Jan. 31. Video by Grant Sachs.

Found: The Elusive West Duluth Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl in West Duluth

If you’ve followed Perfect Duluth Day closely for more than a year, you might know that my wife and I are the world’s laziest and lousiest birders. We have cheap binoculars and cameras, and basically just try to keep an eye out while we are engaged in an activity like cross-country skiing. Last year, during an owl irruption in the Duluth area, we saw zero owls. The only snowy owls we had seen in our lives, before today, were in captivity at the Lake Superior Zoo and the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri.

We had a few failed missions last year, seeking the elusive snowy at Rice’s Point and the Bong Airport. After hearing reports of sightings near Duluth Business University and Wade Stadium this year, we decided to give it another try. We saw a bald eagle at Grassy Point within minutes, and figured that was a good sign. We knew from reading Sparky Stensaas’ blog post about Superior Snowy Owls that it’s generally easier to find them in a stupid place, like on a football scoreboard (in his case) or a piece of industrial equipment (in our case) than in a beautiful wilderness environment, so we were only moderately surprised to find our gal at Erie Pier in West Duluth, perched on a bulldozer.

The Zamboni Explosion and Peterson Arena Fire of 2004

peterson arenaPeterson Arena on Grand Avenue in West Duluth was gutted by fire on Dec. 19, 2004. The image of the wreckage at left is a Bob King photo for the Duluth News Tribune, boosted from USA Today‘s story about the unfortunate and scary, yet still undeniably comical, Zamboni explosion. The fire marked the end of Peterson Arena, which served as the only indoor ice rink in western Duluth from 1971 to 2004. It was replaced by the Duluth Heritage Sports Center at Clyde Park, which opened in 2008.

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