Lutsen Mountains, MN, Loses Popular Restaurant to Fire

Anton Lengyel | | Industry NewsIndustry News
papa charlies fire
The fire at Papa Charlie’s early Saturday morning. (Credit: Lutsen Mountains)

A large fire destroyed Papa Charlie’s restaurant at Lutsen Mountains, MN, early Saturday morning. The fire reportedly started in the kitchen and spread throughout the building. Six local fire departments successfully extinguished the blaze, but unfortunately, the building and the resort’s network equipment and servers were lost.

Luckily, there were no reported injuries, and the firefighters could contain the flames in the restaurant. The fire occurred on the day of the Lutsen 99er, a cycling race starting at the resort. Lutsen Mountains is one of the largest Midwest ski destinations, with over 1,000 skiable acres and one of the few gondolas in the region. The loss of the restaurant strikes a significant blow to the resort and the community.

papa charlie's concert
A concert at Papa Charlie’s. (Credit: Lutsen Mountains)

The restaurant opened in 1996 as a venue for bands and apr├Ęs-ski activities. It quickly became a favorite for locals and tourists and remained a hotspot for many bands throughout the region. Performances kept countless people entertained for decades. On some occasions, more than 600 people would cram into the venue after a long day on the mountain. General manager Jim Vick told Star Tribune that the loss has “affected a lot of people emotionally.” He stated, “It’s more than a building; it’s an experience.”

The resort is already working on finding a way to restore the restaurant. Vick has made it clear that they plan to rebuild the venue, and he hopes to preserve the legacy of Papa Charlie’s. They plan to temporarily move performances to the nearby Scandinavian chalet until a replacement is constructed. However, the resort is still unsure how the loss will impact its summer operations but plans to reopen on June 27th. Hopefully, they can restore the restaurant to its former glory.

the fire at papa charlie's
Firefighters battle the flames at Papa Charlie’s Saturday morning. (Credit: Fox9)

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