Remembering Duluth Business Owner, Community Advocate Rick Boo

Co-owner of Carmody locations dies at 60.

DULUTH, Minn.- Longtime Duluth business owner, son of a former mayor, and longtime LGBTQ community supporter Rick Boo has died. No cause of death has been released at this time.

Carmody Irish Pub and Brewery was packed Wednesday with people reminiscing about his life.

“He’s touched a lot of lives in this town, and helped a lot of deadbeat musicians and artists,” said Boo’s business partner Eddie Gleeson.  “He gave people a chance, he gave them a platform that greater Duluth would not.”

Gleeson co-owned Carmody’s and Carmody 61 in Two Harbors with Boo for the past 15 years. He described the complexity behind his business partner.

“Very kind,” he said. “People, our employees are thoroughly, thoroughly devoted to him.”

Gleeson also remembers, and loves, the other side of Rick.

“He’s a curmudgeon to a degree. He wasn’t very fond of technology, neither am I. Pretty set in his ways but always open,” Gleeson said.

Boo is survived by his two sons Lex and Joe, who Gleeson said will help forge the business ahead into the future.

Boo, the 60-year-old son of former Duluth Mayor Ben Boo, has had a hand in the culture of Duluth for years.

He worked at the NorShor Theatre, and throughout his life helped many musicians and artists get their careers started in Duluth.

“He made his spaces that he ran a safe space for folks who wanted to come and build community, and that’s not super common in bar spaces,” Nelson said.

Within Carmody, Boo worked behind the scenes with Duluth’s Pride Festival welcoming the LGBTQ community.

“Carmody and Rick have been such supporters of the Pride Festival,” she said. “They’ll help behind the scenes for us providing, for the performers food and drink and just sponsoring Pride as a whole.”

Whether they knew him as a business partner, or as their bartender, everyone here knew Rick Boo as a friend, filling this somber day with grief, especially for Gleeson.

“Immense sadness. The loss of one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had.”

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