Hermantown breakfast restaurant to open new location in Canal Park

Social House is expanding into Duluth this spring.

Man stands in front of a building.
Matt “Bert” Berthiaume stands outside the former Famous Dave’s in Canal Park on Monday. Berthiaume plans to open a second Social House at the site next year.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — The Social House breakfast diner in Hermantown, opened in July 2019, is expanding with a second location in Canal Park.

Social House's new restaurant will be leased from Grandma's Corp. in the space formerly occupied by Famous Dave's, 355 S. Lake Ave. While Famous Dave's relocated to 4135 Richard Ave., Hermantown, near Sam's Club, on Nov. 1, it holds the lease of the former Canal Park building until Jan. 1.

The barbeque restaurant will focus more on local customers with its move.

Social House co-owner Matt "Bert" Berthiaume said he's anxious to begin preparing the new site for its anticipated opening this spring.

The building is double the size of the existing location, with approximately 6,500 square feet of space. A larger front-of-house area will include the addition of a full bar. The larger kitchen will allow for an expanded menu to include more gourmet pancakes and French toast, as well as more seasonal dishes, Berthiaume said.

"The walleye cake Benedict will become a permanent offering at the new spot, which is a huge hit every time we run it," he said. "Smoking meat brings a different flavor element and elevates our brisket and salmon for the Benedict, making it unique and outside the traditional Benedict."


Former Famous Dave's in Canal Park.
Social House in Hermantown plans to open a second restaurant in the former Famous Dave’s in Canal Park.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

Canal Park serves as the ideal setting for another Social House, he said, because of its high foot traffic. After it was recognized for Best Breakfast by the News Tribune's Best of the Best Awards and received third place for Best Brunch by the Star Tribune Reader's Choice Minnesota's Best, both in 2021, Berthiaume believes the restaurant will fill a void in cuisine offerings for the well-known tourist destination.

The Duluth News Tribune’s 2022 Best of the Best Contest is complete! Check out our award video below and thank you for participating.

"There's no other place in Canal Park that focuses mainly on signature local breakfast, and that's what we're best at. I would say we're known for breakfast. Everything is made from scratch. It's traditional, but elevated, with some fun twists on American breakfast," he said.

There will be free parking throughout winter. Patrons can expect an industrial-modern interior to the new restaurant, with an old-school element: no public Wi-Fi.

"When you go out, everyone is on their phones. It's just nice to go out and sit down and have fun with the person across the table from you. It's been fun with our existing location and it's worked. In all aspects, it's just a better atmosphere to have when people aren't glued to their phones," Barthiaume said.

In the coming months, Social House will begin recruiting 50-60 additional staff to train at its original location until its soft opening in Canal Park, which is anticipated for May.

Until then, Hermantown's Social House hours will remain 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. The same schedule is anticipated at the new restaurant, with the possibility to extend hours if staffing is sufficient.

The Caribbean eatery is soon relocating from Superior to the former home of Doc Witherspoon's Soul Food Shack.

Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

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