Best Bets: Makers Mercantile opens new brick-and-mortar store

Find something to do this weekend in the Northland.

An image of windowed building facade with ENGER LOFTS logo in large circle
The Enger Lofts building in Lincoln Park is home to a new shop, North and Shore.
Jay Gabler / Duluth News Tribune

North & Shore opens in Enger Lofts

Makers Mercantile, a store that's been based in a vintage camper trailer for the past few years (after initially opening at a storefront in West Duluth), is taking up new permanent residence at a new space called North & Shore in Lincoln Park's Enger Lofts. Proprietors Sara and Scott Clifton sell goods from dozens of local, independent makers. They promise that the Saturday grand-opening celebration, taking place from 3-6 p.m., will feature live music, kids' activities and snacks. For details, see

Open mic for Northland writers

Image of a thick mass market paperback book sitting on a wooden railing with out-of-focus trees in the background
Who will write the Northland's next page-turner?
Jay Gabler / Duluth News Tribune

Who will be the next big writer to emerge from our region? You can keep your ear to the ground at the open-mic nights organized by Lake Superior Writers. The organization works to sustain the literary arts scene in northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin through programs including the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards โ€” which they've just taken over from University of Minnesota Duluth library staff. Their last open-mic night of the season takes place Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. To register for the virtual event, and to indicate your interest in a five-minute reading slot if they're still available, email .

Dave Simonett at Sacred Heart

Black and white image of Dave Simonett standing in woods, wearing medium-brim hat and denim-like shirt.
Dave Simonett will play a solo set at Sacred Heart Music Center on Thursday.
Contributed / Sacred Heart Music Center

While Trampled by Turtles' return to Bayfront Festival Park is all the buzz, this Thursday you have the opportunity to see their frontman play a solo show in the stunning setting of Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth. Dave Simonett, who co-founded Trampled by Turtles in 2003, has also released solo work including 2020's album "Red Tail" and the 2021 EP "Orion" โ€” in addition to leading the band Dead Man Winter. Nat Harvie will open the show, with music starting at 7:30 p.m. For information on tickets ($20 advance, $25 door) and other details, see

Depot picks up STEAM

Duluth Denfeld robotics team members David Anderson (from left), Jamie Larson and Kaleb Robison control their robot Saturday during FIRST Robotics regional competition at the DECC. Steve Kuchera /
The Denfield robotics team, seen here during competition in 2018, will be part of the Depot STEAM Festival.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

There's been plenty of steam power at the St. Louis County Depot over the course of its century-plus history, and it's all thanks to STEAM: science, technology, engineering and math. Now, the Depot is setting out to inspire the next generation of inventors with a free Saturday festival aimed at kids in grades K-5. Twenty local organizations are participating or supporting the effort โ€” including STARBASE, multiple high school robotics teams, and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. "Youth attendees will be encouraged to engage in experiments and art projects, watch robots in action, or view educational displays" at the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Details at

Pop up record shop

A hand holds a copy of Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" on vinyl, with cover image of diner server in Statue of Liberty pose.
Pizza Luce is offering record shopping at brunch โ€” "Breakfast in America" not guaranteed.
Contributed / Round Here Records

When you think of brunch, you're probably more likely to envision circles of Canadian bacon than circles of black vinyl, but Pizza Luce โ€” which knows a thing or two about flat circles โ€” is bringing records to breakfast this Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the downtown pizzeria is collaborating with Duluth's Round Here Records to offer a pop-up record shop featuring new and used vinyl with plenty of local flavor. If you have some platters you're looking to unload, you can also bring records to trade or sell. For details, see


Syttende Mai

t051719 --- Clint Austin --- 051819.N.DNT.MAI.C01 --- Lise Lunge-Larsen (from left) Johan Bakken VII, Johan Bakken VIII and Arna Rennan march along 25th Avenue East in a parade with a group of Duluth families as they celebrate Syttende Mai for the 30th year in Duluth Friday afternoon. --- Clint Austin /
Duluthians celebrate Syttende Mai in 2019.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Norwegian Independence Day is Tuesday, May 17, and a group of Norse-loving locals are throwing a celebration Sunday in Knife River. The Syttende Mai potluck party is sponsored by the Duluth Sons of Norway and Save Our Ship โ€” the organization working to preserve the "Leif Erickson," a Viking ship replica that's now a historic artifact in and of itself. The ship landed in Duluth in 1927 after a voyage from Bergen, Norway, and stood on public display for decades under city ownership. Now, Save Our Ship owns the ship, which sits literally under wraps at the Knife River Heritage & Cultural Center. It will be a silent guest at the celebration, which takes place from 4-6 p.m. For information and to RSVP, see

From a Lester Park horror film to popular national TV shows featuring Duluth actors, there are a lot of local angles to catch on your next streaming binge.
Readers have submitted two rarely seen photos, including one of young Bobby Zimmerman with three generations of his mother's family.
As usual, every summer weekend there's a festival or big show happening in the Twin Ports area.
The Minnesota Historical Society will open an exhibit Friday contextualizing the iconic North Shore landmark. The centerpiece is a full-scale replica of the beacon's lens.

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; he's also a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance. You can reach him at or 218-279-5536.
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