May 7, 1988: Lakeside Bridgeman’s destroyed by fire

On this day in Duluth in 1988, the Bridgeman’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor at 4701 East Superior Street was destroyed by fire. According to Duluth Fire Department historian Jarry Keppers, the fire was discovered by employees of nearby Sammy’s Pizza at 10:30 p.m., 30 minutes after the restaurant closed. Fortunately, the restaurant and two apartments above it were vacant. Keppers described the DFD’s response: “The fire department responded to the two-alarm blaze with four engine companies, one ladder company, a combination pumper-ladder truck, three rescue squads and command personnel. Thirty-five firefighters battled the fire for four hours. Two firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion, were treated at nearby hospitals and later released.” The fire started in the basement and caused $325,000 damage to the building, the ruins of which were removed. The location is now home to a Spur gas station and convenience store. Bridgeman’s restaurants were originally associated with Duluth’s Bridgeman-Russell Dairy, whose history can be found here.

The Lakseside Bridgeman store at 47th Ave. E. and Superior Street, date unknown. (Image: Linda Blaire)