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Tycoon’s Zenith Alehouse

By the turn of the 20th century, Duluth had the most millionaires of any city in the world for its size, lands bulging with untold resources, and a population fast approaching Chicago, giving credence to Dr. Thomas Foster’s 1868 claim that Duluth was the “Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas.” The lumber and mining ventures started by common men transformed them into tycoons of industry.

The city constructed a new city hall and jail in 1889 on Superior Street, replacing the old offices located above a saloon. The Richardsonian Romanesque-style building was constructed from brown sandstone quarried from Fond du Lac and moved by barge down the St. Louis River. This very same building is now home to Tycoon’s Alehouse & Eatery,  the newest establishment owned by the Fitger’s Brewhouse proprietors.

Tycoon’s Alehouse not only preserves the building’s history, but brings it back to life—so much so that they received an “Adaptive Reuse” Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The upstairs banquet rooms offer patrons a glimpse of the grandeur from Duluth’s gilded-era, and the rathskeller peels back the layers and exposes the building’s turn-of-the-century foundations.

The bar is stocked with fresh craft beer from Fitger’s Brewhouse and the menu features many workman dishes like pot roast, smoked fish, and steak from their own Scottish Highland beef cattle. Add to that live music six nights a week from Duluth’s up-and-coming artists, as well as hometown favorites Charlie Parr and 4onthefloor, and Tycoon’s Alehouse brings the building back to the full glory of the city’s zenith.