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Acclaimed Bayfield fine dining experience is closing after 16 years

Wild Rice has been plying its trade on Lake Superior's south shore since 2001.
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It'll be an end of an era on Lake Superior's South Shore this October, when acclaimed Bayfield fine dining restaurant Wild Rice shuts its doors for the last time.

The Bayfield restaurant made the announcement on its website, confirming that its last day of service will be at the end of the season on Saturday, October 14.

The restaurant, which markets itself as "By the water, in the woods, on Lake Superior," told its customers: "It has been phenomenally rewarding to have provided you the highest quality dining experience in Northern Wisconsin."

Designed by Duluth architect David Salmela and described by the Star Tribune as a "distinguished and beloved architectural landmark," the space will be redeveloped as "A Center for Arts and Well Being," with Wild Rice pursuing a partnership with national nonprofit Artspace.

"We feel Artspace will be a wonderful compliment to this beautiful building and the arts community of Chequamegon Bay," Wild Rice's website statement reads.

Wild Rice has been a fixture south of Bayfield since 2001 when it was opened by Mary Rice, who ran the former Clubhouse on Madeline Island and Bayfield eatery Egg Toss – which she sold earlier this year, according to the Bayfield County Journal.

The Star Tribune notes that a major factor in Wild Rice's continued success has been chef Jim Webster, who has ran the kitchen throughout its 16-year run, during which time he's been a semifinalist four times for the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: Midwest award.

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