Grand Marais’ Dockside Fish Market was featured in the Travel section of Sunday’s New York Times as one of four restaurants in the U.S. “that celebrate their stamping grounds in ways that go beyond ingredients.”
The article, headlined “A Sense of Place, on the Plate,” noted the business’ ties to Grand Marais’ long — but mostly long-vanished — fishing heritage. Owners Harley and Shele Toftey operate one of the few remaining commercial fishing operations on the North Shore.
“It’s a dying thing,” Shele Toftey told the Times. “It’s a great livelihood, but it’s a hard livelihood.”
The article mentions, among other items, Dockside’s fried herring fillets and fried whitefish. It makes special mention of its herring roe, called Superior Gold Caviar, “that burst with a mild, briny tang.”
We’re in the midst of American Craft Beer Week, and a Duluth restaurant is marking it with a Minnesota-centric celebration.
Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery is hosting a meet-and-greet with six Minnesota brewers for craft beer fans from 7-9 p.m. today.
The party moves downstairs to the Rathskeller, where all its tap lines will serve Minnesota beer. And drinkers will be able get their taste buds on beer from Bent Paddle before it opens in Lincoln Park (it opens its tap room at 3 p.m. Thursday).
Who doesn’t love a book fair? It was one of the highlights of this Eh? desker’s elementary school years.
Barnes & Noble at the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth is hosting its own book fair today, and this one will benefit North Country R.I.D.E., which provides therapeutic horseback riding to at-risk youth and people of all ages with special needs in Carlton, Douglas and St. Louis counties.
The book store will donate 10 percent of its sales from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to when customers present a book-fair voucher to a sales associate. Online purchases from Saturday to Wednesday are eligible. Go to northcountryride.org to download the voucher. Volunteers will be onsite to hand out vouchers, too. They’ll also have information about North Country R.I.D.E., supplies for making Mother’s Day cards, and face painting for kids.
The Montgomery Wards in Duluth may have closed in 1999, but some of its former employees are keeping the memories alive.
For 14 years, they’ve been getting together for an annual reunion. This year it’ll be at 5 p.m. May 4 at Black Woods restaurant in Proctor.
“It’s always the first Saturday in May,” said Meredith Hill of Duluth, who worked in the Wards jewelry department for more than 12 years.
“Sometimes we get people who haven’t attended for many years,” she said. “We get a few people who have been to most of them. Some years, we get people who have never been before.”
Wards was in downtown Duluth from 1933 to 1973, when it became the first store to open its doors at the brand-new Miller Hill Mall. After closing in 1999, its space at the mall was occupied by Barnes & Noble Bookstore, DSW shoes, Old Navy and other stores. The Wards chain went out of business in 2001.
Former employees can come to the reunion for a short while or stay for hours. They can have dinner or not have dinner. No RSVP or reservations are necessary.
“Just show up,” Hill said.
Here’s an opportunity to eat out and do a good turn at the same time.
Grandma’s Saloon & Grill in Canal Park will donate 20 percent of its sales between 11:30 a.m. and closing today to keep Duluth in bloom this summer. The cut of sales will be used to help buy new watering equipment, so the Clean & Safe Team can keep flowers in Duluth’s downtown and waterfront districts looking fine.
An 18th birthday usually is a big bash for people. Why shouldn’t it be for a business?
Duluth’s Green Mill restaurant in Canal Park turns 18 this month, and owners Doug and Russ Smith figured it was time for a party.
“We’re 18 and all grown up now,” Doug Smith said in a news release.
Instead of buying lotto tickets like other newly minted 18-year-olds, Green Mill will celebrate all day Thursday, starting at 11:30 a.m., inside and outside the restaurant, 340 S. Lake Ave., by serving $1.18 pizza, $1.18 dishes of chicken wings and $1.18 draft beer, as well as half-price items from its new menu.
The family will share photos of the building from 1995 when it was a warehouse and before it was converted to a restaurant, as well as family photos showing what the owners looked like and the fashions they were wearing back in the mid-’90s.
Consider this a weather-related bonus: A few of the restaurants that participated in Eat Downtown have decided to keep their fixed-price menus running a bit longer in case the weather kept diners away last week.
Grandma’s Saloon, Bellisio’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tycoons Alehouse and Eatery and Hanabi will continue with $10 lunches, $20 dinners through the week, according to the Greater Downtown Council.
Eat Downtown is Duluth’s take on Restaurant Week, in which local restaurants offer full-course meals at fixed prices.