Comes a time in many men’s lives when they hears the call of the old home town, and feel the passion of his ancestors start to well up inside him. Thus began the latest chapter in the life of Ed Gleeson, born in Duluth, world traveler, grandson of some former scions of the early hospitality industry in Duluth. Ed’s Irish immigrant grandparents built a mini-empire in Duluth in the late 1800s, starting a restaurant, acquiring hotels, and being a part of People’s Brewing Co. a rather long-lived post prohibition beer company that lasted until 1957.
Ed’s genetic ambitions led him to create Carmody Irish Pub in Duluth, five years ago, add a Northshore branch, Carmody 61, and finally to add micro-brewing capability on site.
Carmody’s, at 308 East Superior Street in the heart of the “new” old downtown, opens daily at 3PM, has live music six nights a week, with 32 beers and 21 Irish whiskeys on hand in addition to his own micro-brews. Demand for the latter is causing him to double brewing output capacity this year.
A believer in supporting local businesses as well as the locavore movement, Ed sources as much product locally as he is able to, and estimates that over 80% of the food products come from establishments within an hour of the Twin Ports.
Carmody’s food offerings include their takes on traditional bar food, with the addition of some Chicago favorites (one of Ed’s major life stopping points), as well as an homage or two to Irish / UK specialties.
Chicago style dishes include the “Maxwell Street Chicago Dog,” dressed as one would find at hundreds of Chicago eateries, with mustard, cucumber, relish, peppers, tomato, and a dash of celery salt. Another Chicago legend on the menu is the Italian Beef sandwich, thin sliced roast beef slowly marinaded in a flavorful au jus, served on a fresh bakery roll and topped with mild or spicy giardiniera. Beef for the sandwich is sourced from Fraboni’s on the range, and cooked at Carmody 61, which enjoys a larger kitchen and prep area than the Duluth outlet.
A tribute to the cuisine of the UK and Ireland can be found in the bangers and mash, and his version of the Cornish pasty. If you’re not familiar with the pasty, it’s a crimped, baked meat and vegetable pie, popularized by miners from the British Isles and Eastern Europe, who settled in the mining communities of Northern Michigan and Minnesota. The hand-held pie provided hearty fare for miner lunches. Ed says his version of the pasty has “Slavic” influences, rather than Cornish or Finnish. The pasty has become widely associated with the Finnish culture in Minnesota.
Sausages at Carmody’s are made from Ed’s secret family recipes, built to the pub’s specifications at Wrazidlo’s Old World Meats in Duluth. Bread and rolls are an exclusive Carmody recipe baked by Duluth’s Johnson’s Bakery. In the friendly West End. Or West Duluth. I could never tell what the difference was.
Additional menu items include starters, sandwiches, wraps, pizza with some vegetarian friendly choices. The menu at the Two Harbors branch has different menu choices, including entrees and burgers.
Taste experiences this visit included the pretzel appetizer with house made mustard, Italian Beef sandwich, and bangers with garlic mash. All were excellent. We look forward to grazing our way through the rest of the menu in the near future.
Here’s the complete Duluth menu.