HART Happy Hour Returns to Help Downtown Duluth Business

DULUTH, Minn.– As road construction continues in downtown Duluth along with the pandemic, some businesses there are coming together to try and bring customers to the Historic Arts And Theater District, or the HART District in downtown Duluth.

Formed in 2018 due to road construction in the area, HART Happy Hour is nothing new to businesses in downtown Duluth’s HART District. But businesses say now the program is as important as ever.

Road construction has been going on the last three summers around the area so the businesses all met to figure out how the district should navigate through the summer and decided to bring the happy hour back.

To encourage people to make their way down to the area, establishments in the district will be offering deals Fridays in August from 3-8 p.m. as they try to navigate through these tough times together.

“We stick up for each other, and when one is down we’re right there to pick them up,” said Carol Jouppi, Owner of Old Town Antiques in the HART District.

Business has been picking back up at the store with tourists but is still down from other summers. During the happy hour, there will be discounts on items around the shop anywhere from 10-30 percent depending on the item.

Jouppi hopes customers will make their way over and support the local businesses.

“For me to see what’s opened up, and to be supportive for them, makes me feel very very happy,” said Jouppi. “I’m really pleased that I’m part of this community and continue being with them and call myself the HART District.”

Blacklist Brewing is another member of the hart happy hour. Business has been going steady despite the conditions. Previous construction projects gave them an expanded sidewalk, which is now allowing them to have outdoor dining.

While they aren’t officially starting until next week, they are getting ready to have some form of a happy hour. Something they haven’t had since they closed for the pandemic.

“I still think it’s important for people to have places to go. You’re staying downtown Duluth or you’re in Canal Park or whatever it is, you got to have businesses to go to,” said Ray Mindestrom of Blacklist Brewing. “So it’s kind of nice because you have a lot of great spots along here that don’t always get the foot traffic that it deserves.”

Both businesses say it’s a no-brainer to continue the program and hope to keep HART Happy Hour going into the future.

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