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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
Freestanding restaurant to join Bluestone development
New London Corp. will expand its restaurant holdings with the addition next year of Tavern on the Hill, a new eatery near the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.
The owner of Black Woods restaurants in Duluth, Two Harbors and Proctor will construct its latest property as a freestanding restaurant in the Bluestone residential-commercial project on Woodland Avenue.
“We’re excited about this venture. The location is second to none. We like the fact that it’s a neighborhood restaurant and it’s in the Bluestone development, which is first rate,” said Bryan Flaherty, principal in the 18-year-old restaurant company, which also owns Black Water Lounge in Greysolon Plaza.
Tavern on the Hill will seat 350 but also will offer a landscaped outdoor patio featuring trees and fire pits. The facility will employ about 100 persons, about 30 of them full time.
“We’ll feature a wide variety of items from sushi to fresh organic salads to soups, paninis, wraps, burgers and neopolitan-style fast pizza,” said Operations Director Julie Thoreson. “We’ll also feature a grab-and-go for people who want to pick up something and bring it home with them. It’s not your traditional fast food. It will be very healthy and very delicious.”
Much of the produce will be fresh and locally grown. The restaurant’s chef has received special training in preparing vegetarian and vegan entrees.
“I think people of Duluth are ready for restaurants that aren’t just tourist destinations. For many years, people have asked why there isn’t something like this on Woodland Avenue,” Flaherty said.
He anticipates a customer mix that’s split about 60-40 between students and non-students, with the average age being somewhat younger than the London Road Black Woods. The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner, with live music provided after 9 p.m.
The structure’s interior will be “large but cozy,” Flaherty said, featuring a large bar and dining rooms that can be divided for separate gatherings or meetings.
“It will be cutting-edge … green and eco-friendly,” said Cullen Flaherty, vice president of operations. “We worked closely with our contractors to be as efficient as possible.”
Overall, the company currently employs more than 300, with about 30 percent of the staff working full time.
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