A couple days ago, Erik Bergs wrote an article about a bar in Hector, Minnesota, called The Other Place. Allow me to begin my story where Erik’s left off.
Nestled in a converted bowling alley in Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood is a little dive bar also called “The Other Place,” though it is affectionately referred to as “The OP” by the locals. One great thing about the OP: they do breakfast. Duluth is like a crossover town between The Range and The Twin Cities. It has a thriving culture in Canal Park and the Downtown area is finally starting to come back around (kind of).
Duluth is pretty evenly split between two types of people: those who chase the Twin Cities lifestyle, and those who are more comfortable living the small town country life. For the latter group, the types who spend nearly all day every day outside and hard at work, a bar needs to be many things. It needs to serve up a good drink at any time of the day. It needs to have a Friday night fish fry. It needs to host bands on the weekends. And most of all, it needs to serve breakfast.
The OP teams up with Twig Bakery and Café (a place that is famous in its own right) to serve any type of breakfast you could possibly want. They’ve got omelets, breakfast burritos, pancakes, French toast, Eggs Benedict, the list goes on. Oh, and I should mention, on weekends, The OP serves breakfast all day. This is a very smart move on their part, as bars usually end their breakfast around 11 am. Many patrons can’t quite rouse themselves out of their hangovers before 11 o’clock on a weekend, so the all day extension gives people ample time to get their act together and bring their money to Woodland.
If breakfast isn’t really your thing, The OP also has your typical burgers, wings, wraps, and beers. It’s bar food, and to be perfectly honest, it’s pretty hit or miss. I’ve heard nothing but praise about The OP and their food, but in my experience the lunch and dinner menu has been mostly average. I don’t have any real complaints about the food, but I haven’t eaten anything there that has really stuck with me. So if I were you, I’d go to the OP for the breakfast. They’ve got that down.
The OP is also rapidly gaining popularity for their weekend nightlife. They usually play host to some great bands and they have some pretty unbeatable drink specials that are drawing in an ever-growing crowd.
Going out to the bars in Duluth as a 20-something can be an extremely infuriating experience. The younger crowd goes to bars on a rotating schedule. Wednesday nights are spent at Fitger’s, where you can either go to The Lindo or The Rex. Thursday’s are Up Bar, which is really just the upstairs bar at Grandma’s Saloon & Grill in Canal Park. On Friday nights the crowd heads Downtown to Ace’s, Spur’s, Dubh Linn’s, and The Flame. The long weekend ends on Saturday nights at Grandma’s, which again is a misleading name because “Grandma’s” actually refers to Grandma’s Sports Garden. Hint: DO NOT GO HERE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT. Only go if you truly want to experience a night of drunken college debauchery unlike any you’ve seen before.
That said, The OP is emerging as a truly formidable alternate option for a Friday or Saturday night. The people there are upbeat and energetic and the atmosphere is just a whole lot of laidback, “let the good times roll” fun. If you find yourself out in Duluth, go to The Other Place where you can skip the college crowd without skipping out on the fun.
Photos via: The OP