Pizza Man shuts doors; owner of local bakery looking to open new pizza shop in same downtown Duluth location

LuLu's Pizza is expected to open sometime in January.

Pizza Man on Superior Street shut its doors in late September, but the owner of Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe is planning to open LuLu’s Pizza — which will specialize in pizza made from scratch — in the now empty space sometime in January. (Clint Austin /

Pizza Man shut its doors in late September, but the area won’t be without pizza for long.

The owner of Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe is planning to open LuLu’s Pizza — which will specialize in pizza made from scratch — in the now empty space.

Pizza Man closed on Sept. 30, according to a voice message recorded on its phone line.

“Pizza Man and all of our staff want to thank you for your patronage,” a man’s voice said in the message.

It was located in the heart of the first phase of Superior Street reconstruction, which closed Superior Street from Seventh Avenue West to Third Avenue West in 2018. People could still access businesses in the construction areas by foot.


It's inconclusive if construction played a part in its closure, as the owner of Pizza Man couldn't be reached for comment.

“It may have played a factor. It’s something that everybody had a challenge going through, but it’s been nearly a year since phase one,” said Kristi Stokes, president of Duluth’s Greater Downtown Council.

Construction was expected to bring new businesses, said Stokes.

“From our standpoint, we’re saddened to see Pizza Man closed. But it’s also exciting that the Amazing Grace family will bring some new life to that space. They have a strong reputation in that community and I think they will be a great addition," Stokes said.

Connor Riley and his sister, Lucy Stoyke-Riley, plan to open LuLu’s Pizza sometime in January, said Riley.

Riley owns Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe in Canal Park, which his stepdad started in the 1990s and Riley later purchased from his mom in 2016.

While the business won’t be under the Amazing Grace umbrella, Riley said they plan to use their baking expertise to help with crafting pizza. Stoyke-Riley also has management experience.

“A big part of it, we’re using our skills that we have from having the bakery in our family for 20 years,” he said.


The pizza will be made from scratch, including the tomato sauce and sourdough crust. Riley said they plan to purchase the mozzarella cheese in blocks and shred it themselves.

LuLu’s will be located in downtown's “food desert” area, Riley said. This helps it cater to downtown workers during the day, as well as gives its drivers direct access to the highways for deliveries — another major part of the customer base.

With numerous pizza delivery places already operating in the Twin Ports, he said they may face challenges with competition. But he said more competition makes all of the restaurants better.

They have plans to renovate and redesign the shop's interior, which may pull from Amazing Grace's bright colors and cozy aesthetic, Riley said.

The siblings wanted to open a pizza business for a while, but weren't planning to do so for some time, he said. But when the opportunity to buy the store opened up, they jumped at it right away.

“It’s a big deal, and I’m glad we’re going to be locally owned and operated by us,” he said.

What To Read Next
Get Local