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New life flows into church sanctuary as urban restaurant, garden


Imagine this: an old, unused church being revitalized into a urban restaurant and garden.

Can you picture it? It’s happening in Duluth.

Bob Bagley purchased Bethany Lutheran Church and the building next to it in Lincoln Park for about the same price as a home in the area.

With the purchase, and the approval of two special permits on Tuesday, Bagley says new life will soon flow into the church sanctuary.

He says Church Restaurant, as he plans to call it, will bring food, community, and an urban garden to the area.

It will feature some of the parts of the church, including the pews as table booths and a bar top.

He’s particularly excited about it being a gathering space for the community: “As the church was for it’s first 120 years it was a gathering place for the community and that’s what we want to turn it into again, just a different gathering place for the community,” says Bagley.

Bagley says the harvest from that garden will be used in the restaurant, and possibly be sold to neighbors as well through a farmers market.

Right now Bob and his brother are working on clearing out the church before more hardcore construction.

Bagley hopes it’ll open within a year, but there’s a lot of work to do!

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Jenna Lake


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