The Future Shifts for One of the Northland’s Most Popular Music Venues
Northland Uncovered: The Red Herring Lounge and location.
DULUTH, Minn.- From the most unknown local artists to headliners that we know and love, the Red Herring Lounge has been the Northland’s go to spot for live music for years.
Since 2013, the Red Herring Lounge on East 1st Street has been one of Duluth’s most popular concert venues.
“What I thought the scene deserved was a place that was going to do it right,” owner Bob Monhan said.
Monahan was in the Duluth music scene for decades before he found the right spot for local artists.
“I just obviously walked by this building a bunch of times and looked through this window and there was this old popcorn machine through the window and wondered what’s the story,” Monahan said. “The building just screamed potential.”
After discovering the abandoned location, Monahan contacted the owner of the building, Jack Arnold, who also once owned other popular Northland bar Sir Ben’s.
“I actually went over and explained what I wanted to do– my vision. And they said we’re not trying to sell the building but we want to sell it to you,” Monahan said.
A quarter million dollars and a year’s worth of construction later, the lounge began turning into the venue known today.
“The only thing that remains from the original building… The beams and the bricks,” Monahan said.
On the main floor, a bar and stage. In the basement, a green room for performers- even a recording studio that passed through the hands of several residents.
“I’ve always prided myself on the quality of entertainment we’ve had here,” Monahan said.
In 2018, Monahan opened the Hostel Du Nord a few blocks down from the Red Herring. Realizing how difficult it was to run two small businesses at once, he was forced with the decision to put the lounge’s location up for sale.
“When I told my mom that I wanted to put the building on the market… The first think she said was don’t think that it wasn’t a success,” Monahan said.
The building is posted for $275 thousand, but will only sell to the right buyer. Monahan hopes that whoever ends up with the building decides to keep the Red Herring running out of it.
“I would love it if the Red Herring continued on whether with me or without me,” Monahan said.
The Red Herring Lounge will remain one of Duluth’s hottest music venues until at least June of 2019 with artists booked through the Spring.