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New restaurant announced for the Shops at BlueStone

(Rendering of Tavern on the Hill from Chequamegon Bay Group Inc.)

If you love the Blackwoods family of restaurants, you'll love what's in store as the newest component for the Shops at BlueStone. Last month the tenants for Phase II of the BlueStone development, the retail component named the "Shops at BlueStone," were officially announced. Tenants for that portion of the project include Duluth's third Starbuck's location (with drive thru!), Waxing the City, Chilly Billy's Frozen Yogurt, Northern Communities Credit Union, Sport Clips, and the Twin Ports very first Qdoba location (which has yet to be officially announced). Along with these details on the first phase of the retail component of the Shops at BlueStone development, it was announced that there would be additional phases of retail components to follow, the first being a free standing restaurant on the upper side of the site that would hopefully open this summer. Well, work on the foundation officially began last week, so it's about time we report the news of what exactly is going in!

Get ready to welcome Tavern on the Hill to the Shops at BlueStone. The new restaurant is technically part of Phase III of the BlueStone development and is being developed by New London Corporation. Yeah, we figure you probably aren't quite sure who they are. But, we probably can guarantee you've been to one of their restaurants before as they own the area's Black Woods Grill & Bar restaurants. They're also responsible for the renovation of the Greysolon Ballroom downtown (and currently own it) and also for the creation of Black Water Lounge (below the Greysolon Ballroom on Superior Street). So if anything, we can all rest assured that Duluth is about to welcome another quite classy dining establishment.

So what exactly will be served? Just about everything. The restaurant will have a casual setting so it will appeal to both the residents in the area and also the students that UMD and other area universities/colleges. Get those stomaches ready to grumble as an extensive menu of burgers (including bison burgers), pizza, soups and salads will be offered. The restaurant will also serve sushi, panini sandwiches, and even vegetarian dishes as well. What might be the greatest gift of all to the next door BlueStone Lofts residents is the fact that Tavern on the Hill will have a "Grab and Go" menu also. That'll make it so customers have the ability to purchase desserts, pizza, and other "a-la carte" options while on the go, most likely running to that class you woke up late for but magically have just enough time to grab some grub. You can also order from the take-out menu for larger dishes to bring home for those days when you are especially tired from work or class and would just like someone else to do the cooking for once. The prices for lunch will be between the $6 to $10 range, while dinner will can cost up to $15 per person.

Now on to the physical structure of the restaurant. It's quite a large restaurant... 10,000 square feet to be precise! Keep in mind that's roughly the size of a full blown Black Woods restaurant. That means they will be room for up to 100 jobs and that Tavern on the Hill will be able to seat over 350 people. Now that's a restaurant! The entire project is meant to be as energy efficient as possible too (go sustainability!). That means that thje restaurant will recycle as much as possible, use eco friendly packaging and locally sourced foods, among other things, even including dimmable parking lot lights. Tavern on the Hill will be split up into different dining rooms which can be reserved for gatherings and parties, similar to what you'd find at a Black Woods restaurant. There of course will also be a full bar with at least 25 local beers on tap (great for finals)... and for the outdoor enthusiast in many Minnesotans there will be an outdoor dining area that can seat 100 people, complete with fire pits and heaters.

Tavern on the Hill will scheduled be open for business by June/July 2014.

More news on additional retail components will come in the coming months. The former Woodland School, which Mark Lambert (the developer of the project) was hoping that one of the area colleges would take over and use for additional space, will actually be razed in the coming months. More retail is planned to be built on that portion of the site. Rumors are already swirling that a grocery store or pharmacy is trying to be lured as one of the new retail components. We've even heard a Trader Joe's could possibly be en route! As always, we'll dig and see what we can find out and be sure to let you know right here at cdinduluth!

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