Bummer: Duluth's Nokomis is calling it quits

  • Blog Post by: Rick Nelson
  • October 3, 2012 - 4:10 PM



News from the Northland: Nokomis Restaurant & Bar in Duluth, a bright spot on that city's dining scene and a major culinary destination for Twin Cities tourists, is calling it quits.

“It has been a good run,” said chef/co-owner Sean Lewis (pictured, above). “I think we’ve made the culinary scene a little bit brighter. We had seven great years, and we’ve decided that it’s a good time to finish, and go out while we’re on top.”

Retirement  -- for co-owners Sandy Lewis and Rondi Erickson, Lewis’ grandparents -- is the primary reason behind the closing. “They’ve got a personal bucket list that they’ve worked out,” said Sean Lewis. “They want to travel.”

The restaurant, a former supper club, is located on the old Lake Superior-hugging highway between Duluth and Two Harbors.



The dining room's lake views (pictured, above) are ridiculously scenic, and the restaurant’s warmly contemporary look is the work of its fourth partner, Jennifer Lewis, Sean’s spouse and an interior designer.

The closing will definitely have an adverse impact on the Duluth dining scene, at least from this critic's perspective; Lewis' adventurous and imaginative cooking has always been a reason to head north to Duluth. 

“When we started, we saw a need for more of an upscale cuisine, with wines and service to match,” he said. “I think we’ve made a pretty good impact with both locals and non-locals.”

Agreed. Fortunately for Duluth diners, the Lewis family is staying put. Sean Lewis has already finalized his next venture, but isn’t ready to release specifics, only to say that it’s a project that’s going to require a major makeover.

"I love the area, and it's a great place to work," he said.

The good news is that Nokomis is going to keep cooking through Oct. 28th, giving Twin Citians an additional opportunity to head north for a fall colors appreciation visit.

“The leaves are at full peak right now,” said Lewis. “It’s gorgeous up here.”

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner through Oct. 14, and then Wednesday through Sunday through lunch on the 28th. The adjacent wine shop is cutting prices by 20 percent on all bottles of wine, beer and Joia soda.

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