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Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar
394 South Lake Avenue
Duluth, Minnesota

For Reservations or Inquiries
Call: (218) 722-2355

We can host private parties at our restaurant as well as provide catering for weddings and events.

Call Derek Snyder for details at (218) 721-2034

Happy Hour
Monday - Thursday: 3pm - 6pm
Friday - Sunday: 9pm - 11pm
Sunday-Thursday

Open 9am-10pm
Brunch 9-2
Lunch 9-5
Dinner 5-10

Friday-Saturday

Open 9am-11pm
Brunch 9-2
Lunch 9-5
Dinner 5-11

Wine Wednesday

Half Price Wine (All Day)

We can host private parties at our restaurant as well as provide catering for weddings and events.

Call Derek Snyder for details at (218) 721-2034

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Our Story

Lake Avenue opened its doors in 1991 when Canal Park was more ‘scruffy post-industrial harbor’ than ‘tourist destination’. Setting up in a renovated mattress factory, founders Tom Benson and Wendy Rouse were among the first to introduce Duluth to new recipes and combinations that challenged the area’s more traditional establishments.

The restaurant was passed on to sous chef Patrick Cross and his wife Mary Ann Immerfall, who continued to further Lake Avenue’s reputation as a foundation of Canal Park dining as the area saw the opening of many new restaurants.

Derek Snyder and Mark Swenson realized a lifelong dream when they purchased Lake Avenue in 2009. They built new tables, booths, and a bar out of reclaimed lumber, opened outdoor deck dining, and extended its hours. They introduced catering, live music, and an annual music festival over the marathon weekend in June.

Most important, the restaurant now focuses more than ever on a locally sourced menu and on Midwestern spirits. As Canal Park continues to develop and grow, Lake Avenue plans to be a friendly, dynamic dining destination for many years to come.

Catering Services

We can host private parties at our restaurant as well as provide catering for weddings and events.

Call Derek Snyder for details at (218) 721-2034

Derek Snyder

Co-Owner

Co-owner Derek Snyder was born and raised in Duluth, and has been working in restaurants and bars for nearly 20 years.

He first discovered food and wine as a college student in Oregon, working at Assaggio, a beloved Italian bistro in Southeast Portland. He later trained at Amangani and Teton Mountain Lodge in Jackson, Wyoming. After traveling in South America and Europe, Derek brought his experience and perspective back to Duluth in 2005 as bar manager at the new Pizza Lucé. He cemented his skills as a cocktail-creator as the bar manager at the Red Star Club from 2007-2010.

Taking over Lake Avenue has been a dream come true for Derek, who sincerely loves helping people enjoy life through creative food and drink.

Michael Schraepfer

Co-Owner

Michael moved to Duluth as an 18 year old college student and fell in love with the city during his first summer after college.

Passionate about business, he got to work early starting several successful endeavors in real-estate and home service industries.

Looking for a new opportunity Michael crossed paths in 2008 with Co-Owner Derek Snyder they became fast friends. Sharing in Derek’s passion and curiosity for the restaurant industry, an opportunity for a new endeavor soon emerged.

Designed by Michael, being a part of Lake Ave has been an amazing experience and a fun way to be a part of what makes Duluth a great place to live.

Mark Swenson

Co-Owner

Mark Swenson started his journey in the restaurant business with the Neon Parrot in 1983. From there, he bought four Kid’s Korner Pizza stores and by by 1987 he was kitchen manager for Kemp’s Fish Market in Canal Park.

Shortly after starting work with Grandma’s Saloon he married his wonderful wife Danette and was asked to manage their expansion restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina. After 3 years and a valuable real-world education, Mark and his wife were back in Duluth to stay. With a total of nine years within the Grandma’s family between Little Angies, Bellicio’s and Grandma’s Saloon, he transitioned to a Kitchen Manager with the Ground Round and Chef for ‘Seasons’ in Scanlon, MN.

Mark caught the attention of Fitger’s Brewhouse, and was asked to help open Burrito Union and work within the Brewhouse family for over 5 years. Eventually he met Derek Snyder who had discussed the idea of starting a restaurant in the Lake Ave Café space. Between Mark, Snyder, and Michael Schraepfer the next chapter is being written.

Outside of work, Mark is a movie buff, wine and beer snob, and board game geek. He feels very lucky to have met his wife, Danette, who supports his passions and watch his two sons grow up and share similar pastimes and interest in the restaurant business.

Bob Pokorney

Summer Manager

Bob Pokorney started at Lake Avenue as a dishwasher in 1994, and has worked in restaurants in France, California, and Wyoming as a cook, bartender, server, and manager. He led cycling trips through France after college and wrote his master’s thesis on the French wine industry. Bob loves helping Derek and Mark manage Lake Avenue during the restaurant’s busy summer season and works as a ski patrolman in California during the winter.