The owner of Grandma's Saloon & Grill restaurants purchased a building in the burgeoning Lincoln Park Craft District - but don't expect a new eatery anytime soon.
Grandma's Restaurant Co. CEO Andy Borg plans to use the space at 2308-2310 W. Superior St. as storage for his collection of antiques and vintage signs on display in the restaurant's two Duluth locations and one in Virginia.
The Lincoln Park building was built in 1922. According to city property transactions published in the News Tribune, Borg's 2308 West LLC purchased the building from Mark and Kimberly Jam for $470,000 on Jan. 19.
The building, formerly home to Duluth Sheet Metal, is directly across from Duluth Cider. It features a brick façade and covered circle driveway. It's about 10,000 square feet with 100 feet of frontage on Superior Street, according to a listing with Holappa Commercial Real Estate.
Grandma's also owns three other Canal Park establishments - Bellisio's, Little Angie's Cantina and Grill and The Sports Garden - as well as Adventure Zone, a family fun center.
Grandma's President Brian Daugherty said the company wants to use existing warehouse space attached to Adventure Zone for possible expansion. Moving its antiques collection to the Lincoln Park space will free up that space, he said.
"Sooner or later, we need to clear out the warehouse in Canal Park and potentially expand in there, whether it be Adventure Zone or another retail or waterfront project," Daugherty said. "We've been considering a long-term design and development to add value to the entire harborfront side of Canal Park."
So why buy a spot on the main street in a growing entertainment and shopping district just to use it as a warehouse?
"The price was good; the location is close," Daugherty said, adding that Borg owns the building himself and not Grandma's. "You pull right up and pull in a garage door and out another garage door. The building is set up perfectly for what it was purchased for."
Daugherty said, however, that the company's quiet presence in Lincoln Park could lead to plans down the line.
"The Lincoln Park district has gone up in value," he said. "It's a good investment that one could easily redefine. ... We want to make way for higher and better use (in Canal Park), but that's not to say that this Lincoln Park building won't have its own higher and better use."