Crabby Ol’ Bill’s Saved From Closure

Opening Day Is May 26

DULUTH, Minn. – An iconic boat in Canal Park that has a summer smell like no other has been rescued. We’re talking about Crabby Ol’ Bill’s.

FOX 21’s Dan Hanger confirmed Thursday the owners of Titanium Partners have purchased the historic boat along the Lakewalk and the business inside.

The sale means the popular mini donuts of all kinds will once again be flowing after uncertainty last year when the previous owners called it quits.

News of the revival came as a welcome surprise to people out and about Thursday.

“I mean, we’ve made special trips over here because they’re not something you can get any place else,” said Lisa Kuhl, a resident of Cloquet. “They have great donuts.”

“It’s going to be fantastic. I think visitors and tourists are really going to enjoy this place, and it’s going to be really good for them to come back,” said Blaire Nearing, a tourist from Canada who has visited Crabby Bill’s three times now.

Crabby Ol’ Bill’s was modeled after a real 1952 tug boat.

It’s been a destination on the Lakewalk for more than two decades, and business leaders are happy to see it staying put.

“It brings the atmosphere up in Canal Park, and that’s the heart of Canal Park  where all the hustle and bustle is,” said Regina Fodness, president of the Canal Park Business Association. “That’s where the ships come in. People grab mini donuts, go sit and watch the ships come in.”

Crabby Ol’ Bill’s will be getting a clean-up and facelift in the coming weeks.

Opening day is set for May 26.

Here’s a statement from Brian Forcier, owner of Titanium Partners, LLC.

“The Nels J tugboat, aka Crabby Ol’ Bills is a great opportunity for Duluth to preserve a unique offering in the Canal Park area for locals and tourists to enjoy a little refreshment while taking in the sights and sounds of the shipping and port industry. We intend to save the current structure and improve upon the appearance and fun level of that location for all to enjoy.

It is our way of ensuring a good product is available and enhancing the experience along the coveted Lakewalk recreational area. More to come!”

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