Duluth's Red Herring Lounge put up for sale, closing in June

Owner Bob Monahan recently opened the Hostel Du Nord in Duluth.
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After 5 years in business, The Red Herring Lounge in Duluth is closing and has been put up for sale.

The bar, exhibition and concert venue at 208 E 1st St. was bought by Bob Monahan in 2012 – the space formerly being home to the Rocket Bar.

In 2014, Monahan opened it as the Red Herring Lounge, but announced last week on Facebook that its time is coming to an end.

He had listed the venue for sale in February, though told the Duluth News Tribune at the time that he had no plans to close the bar.

Circumstances have changed though, with Monahan saying that the Herring will close its doors for good on June 10 – five years to the day it opened.

"It has been a WILD RIDE to say the least...a ride I would not like to continue to ride, at this point," he wrote. "Bar ownership (throwing parties for a living) is a young-person's game. If I was making a bunch of money, I'd hire someone to run it, make appearances at all the big shows, give a bunch of high fives and back pats, and maybe jump behind the bar for a hot minute...YEE HAW.

"Unfortunately, that (making money) is not the case, and never really was. There are PLENTY of reasons for this, many related to my own deficiencies as a business owner."

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He added: "At this point, the stress of being broke, and on top of that, owing a bunch of people/businesses has gotten the best of me. It's no way to live, people! Time to cut my losses and move on to bigger and better things."

By "bigger and better things," he's referring to the Hostel du Nord, which opened its doors last October, styling itself as the first "modern" hostel in Duluth.

Monahan oversaw the transformation of the former Garon Bros. Jewelers space at 217 W. 1st St., turning it into a contemporary hostel with space for 48 guests.

He says that the Red Herring Lounge will go out with a "BANG," with final festivities due to be announced. 

"All that being said: I have ZERO regrets- only a damn fine (and pricey) education and a TON of crazy, amazing memories (some more vivid than others)- to show for it." 

If you have any interest in following Monahan's footsteps, the Red Herring Lounge is for sale for $265,000.

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