NAME: Northeastern Saloon and Grille

CURRENT OWNER: Bert Whittington

DATE OPENED: 1885

FOUNDER: Louis McCullough

LOCATION: 115 St. Louis Avenue, Cloquet

Interesting facts:

  • Whittington has the original liquor license for the Northeastern; it's the oldest-known liquor license in the state held by a continuous business.
  • The original wood building burned to the ground in 1903 and was rebuilt with brick in less than a year.
  • The Northeastern was one of a handful of buildings to survive the 1918 fire, along with a few homes, the Garfield School and the old water tower.
  • After the fire, the building served as a hospital, post office and U.S. National Guard headquarters.
  • The upstairs has been restored to reflect the style in 1904, but is up to today's code.
  • The rooms are available for rent.
  • The saloon still has many original items including a 30-foot bar made from African mahogany.
  • The bar has a large public display of Duluth brewery memorabilia, including one-of-a-kind vintage neon signs. Whittington said the collection is among the largest in Minnesota.
  • In the early days, the Northeastern housed a saloon, barber shop, dining room and a 20-room hotel upstairs, complete with female companionship, Whittington said. There are now 11 rooms in the upstairs hotel.