Ladies' accessories boutique, family restaurant among newest Canal Park businesses
Tourists and locals alike flock to Canal Park's popular businesses all year-round, and two of its newest additions, which just opened their doors this past May, are no exception.
Never Too Many, a women's accessories boutique, and a new Duluth branch of Grizzly's Grill, an American cuisine restaurant that can be found across Minnesota and Wisconsin, both opened for business about three months ago.
"First impressions are, 'Wow,' because it's so bright," said Never Too Many assistant manager Allie Hanson. "It's fun; people like it."
Located in the space previously occupied by Cooler by the Lake on Canal Park Drive, Never Too Many is the latest venture of Simon Shaked, who also owns I Love Duluth on Canal Park Drive, and the University One Stop on Superior Street. The boutique is modeled after a similar store Shaked owns in Michigan.
Visitors to the shop, billed as "a woman's paradise," are greeted by long tables draped in satiny pink ruffles and packed with sparkling accessories, from headbands and rings to bracelets, necklaces and more. Utilizing every square inch of the building's long floor plan, one wall is lined with light, summery dresses, while the other is covered with a wide selection of purses and more jewelry galore. Impulse items at the cash register include colorful scarves and sun hats. A series of small chandeliers decorates the path to the back of the store.
The shop is a big hit for special events such as weddings and school dances, Hanson said.
"A lot of high school girls really like it," she said.
But a visit to Never Too Many one recent afternoon showed not just high school girls, but a wide-ranging clientele as ladies of all ages perused the aisles.
"It's a fun store for all ages," Hanson said, adding that shoppers can choose from trendy or traditional items. "There's something for everyone."
The wide range also applies to prices, she explained. For example, she said, shoppers can spend anywhere between $4 and $25 for a ring.
"We just have such a wide selection," said Kristina Connor, a longtime employee at I Love Duluth.
With details such as wood paneling that was painstakingly applied to the brick walls, the store strives for a boutique-like feel. Merchandise orders are made in smaller quantities, Hanson and Connor said, ensuring more unique choices for the shoppers.
"It's not one of those things where you come back here and you find everyone else having the same thing," Connor said.
"People can always expect something new," Hanson added.
Meanwhile, just around the corner on Lake Avenue South in the former Hell Burgers location, Grizzly's Grill is serving up hungry patrons with its signature wood-fired culinary creations.
Grizzly's opened May 21, and manager Mike Simon said the response to the restaurant started out strong and has continued to grow.
"Our sales have steadily grown every week," Simon said.
The restaurant definitely felt the effects of Duluth's June flooding, which caused many out-of-town tourists to cancel their plans. However, the decline in sales was short-lived, as tourism in Canal Park is bustling again.
"There was a little setback with the flooding, but we're back on track," Simon said.
He reports seeing a mix of both tourists and locals, with mainly tourists coming in for dinner and more locals, such as Canal Park employees, stopping in for drinks after work.
The restaurant also has locations near Miller Hill Mall in Duluth and on Tower Avenue in Superior. The Canal Park building was completely renovated, including a 2,000-square-foot expansion and the addition of large booths.
"We made it a more family-oriented setting," Simon explained.
There are about 80 staff members at the restaurant, which is best known for its wood-fired rotisserie grilling. Simon said that the majority of Grizzly's food items are cooked using the red oak-fired grill, adding a unique taste to dishes such as the wood-fired roasted chicken, salmon or house sirloin.
Simon said Grizzly's also is known for its ever-expanding beer selection, with 28 tap lines.
"We're bringing out a bunch of new beers," he said.
Valerie Clark has worked as a reporter, copy editor and graphic designer at newspapers and specialty publications across the Southeast and in Central Oregon. She currently lives in Duluth with her husband and dog, and works as the public relations specialist at Goodwill.