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New tap house coming to downtown Duluth

Rick Lampton, the local managing partner of the three Grizzly's restaurants in the Twin Ports, is opening an American craft beer and burger restaurant at 7 W. Superior St. called 7 West Tap House. It is expected to open at the end of September or early October. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

A local restaurant owner is opening a craft beer and burger spot in the former Ragstock location on Superior Street.

Rick Lampton, the local managing partner of three Grizzly's locations, is in the early stages of 7 West Tap House, a non-Grizzly's venture. It is expected to be open at the end of September or early October.

Lampton said he wanted to do something small and focused and open for a lunch crowd in downtown Duluth.

"We like the idea of doing something smaller that focuses on just burgers," he said. "You'll see a lot more places cropping up that

specialize. We're going to focus on American craft beers and burgers and keep the food on the inexpensive side."

Lampton signed a five-year lease in June on the 2,300-square-foot space owned by Kathleen Busche.

"It's a high-traffic area with a lot of people and offices," he said.

Lampton said they are in the demolition phase.

The tap house is expected to seat about 60 customers and will not have a full liquor license. It will serve just wine and beer and probably will close earlier than the 2 a.m. bar close.

"It will be a good addition for downtown," said Kristi Stokes, president of the Greater Downtown Council.

Ragstock moved out of the space at 7 W. Superior into a bigger space next door at 9 W. Superior St. in September. The clothing store had been in that location since it opened in 1989.

Lampton said he was looking for a spot for the tap house when they found the location that ended up becoming the newest Grizzly's in Canal Park. Lampton signed a 10-year lease for the spot that had been empty since Hellburgers closed in September 2010.

"We hadn't really planned on doing the Grizzly's when we did," he said. "Grizzly's just happened."

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