For years, Last Place on Earth was pretty much the Last Thing Duluth Wanted in its downtown.
Yes, it's only one building, but 120 East Superior Street is also a symbol for Duluth. And now it's one city leaders are pointing to with pride.
The 1908 building that was originally a hotel spent the last couple decades as home to Last Place on Earth, a record store that morphed into a head shop and was eventually closed down for selling synthetic drugs.
The shop – and the customers who lined up every morning to buy "incense" – were seen as a blight on the area, hurting downtown's reputation as well as the value of nearby properties. Not anymore.
Beer, condo, and an Escape Room
Mayor Emily Larson joined the developers who re-purposed the building to celebrate its rejuvenation Friday, KBJR reports.
A micro-brewery, Blacklist Artisan Ales, announced in January that it was moving into the basement and first floor.
A luxury condo will occupy the top floor, WDIO reports, and in between them will be something called The Escape Room. It'll be operated by Duluth-based Solve Entertainment, a company that says it creates "immersive entertainment experiences."
In The Escape Room "We lock people in a room for an hour, we fill it with puzzles and clues and codes, and they have to solve their way out,"company co-owner Matthew Wagner tells WDIO.
Part of historic arts district
For downtown Duluth boosters, there was an addition by subtraction when Last Place on Earth was shut down a few years ago. Breathing new life into its old home is seen as an important step that will add to the city's Historic Arts and Theater District, which the city council designated last September 14.
The $30 million renovation of the NorShor Theatre is also seen as a big piece in the revival of the area.