BIZ blog: More coming to Clyde ParkClyde Park's restaurant is open but a boccie ball court, brewery and bakery are still coming.
Business, consumer and economic tidbits from DNT reporter Candace Renalls. Click here to view previous posts or additional resources.
More coming to Clyde Park
Plans for a "soft opening" at Clyde Park were foiled last week when the News Tribune reported that the long-anticipated restaurant in the former steel foundry was finally open for business.
Hey, it had been operating quietly for two days without us telling the world. Moreover, about 500 movers and shakers in Duluth were about to descend on Clyde Park's event center for a big shindig.
The secret would be out then, anyway.
But the soft opening -- like most soft openings -- was to work out kinks in the service and food, like getting the food cooked on wood-fired ovens out to diners in 10 minutes.
"Twenty minutes is too long," Robert Giuliani, a manager at the restaurant said Sunday, admitting some orders took that long last week. He is the younger brother of project developer Alex Giuliani. Both were on hand Sunday afternoon, still working on those kinks.
My spicy cheeseburger and fries order, by the way, took about 15 minutes. You order at a counter from a menu of Italian pastas, pizzas, steak burgers and salads, and they bring it to you.
As a couple came down the stairs from the second floor pub, I asked them if the house-made beers were available yet. No, not yet, the man said, adding, "But the food's great."
Walk into Clyde Park on Michigan and 29th Avenue West and you're walking into a cavernous 36,000-square-foot, three-story high factory that was established in 1889. It's all cleaned up and restored, with the original wood floors, steel beams, catwalks and some giant pulleys still there, along with reclaimed brick and wood beams and original Clyde signs. They say a 15-ton overhead crane is still in place, but you have to look for it.
On one end is the event center, the other the restaurant. In the restaurant, a massive, two-story mural shows a Clyde Iron Works factory scene from the early 1900s. It's an impressive homage to the Duluth workers who built the cranes, hoists and derricks used to construct the Empire State Building, Panama Canal and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The industrial feel carries over to the tables topped with lacquered wood boards on steel foundations and matching chairs. You're given your order number imprinted on a flat square of steel welded onto a big, free-standing screw, the kind used to make big equipment. Nice touch.
But the space cries out for more.
Not to worry. More is on the way, say the Giulianis. A boccie ball court (continuing the Italian theme) will soon be added to one side of the restaurant. A big piece of equipment made at Clyde Iron Works will be brought in as restaurant decor.
In a couple of months, the brewery, which will make artisan beer on-site will be added to a corner of the first floor, with the beer pumped up to the second floor bar. A glass window will allow the brewery to be seen. Next to it will be a bakery and retail store where the restaurant's artisan breads, Italian sausage, porketta and sauces, all made on site, will be sold.