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Northland Steps Up: OMC Smokehouse owner launches ‘Lifting Lincoln Park’ initiative

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DULUTH, MN -- Two weeks ago, we sat down with Tom Hanson.

He owns Duluth Grill, OMC Smokehouse and Corktown Deli & Brews.

He had just made the tough decision to close all three, and his new Cocktail Lounge Noble Pour.

Hundreds of employees laid off, but he helped them out by giving the workers $20,000 worth of restaurant food.

And turns out, his post-closure giving didn't end there.

Hanson is announcing a brand new initiative meant to boost all Lincoln Park businesses, and the neighborhood as a whole.

"When this COVID-19 virus hit, we decided we could do one of two things. Do nothing, or go and do something big," said Hanson in a newly released web video.

It is a clip from the website launching a new initiative, called "Lifting Lincoln Park".

It highlights the hard times neighborhood businesses now find themselves in, and a new idea to help get them through.

An OMC Smokehouse cookbook.

It includes the restaurant's most popular recipes, drinks and sauces, and is modeled after the Duluth Grill Cookbook, which sold well after being released years ago.

The idea, pre-order now and instantly give a boost to the neighborhood.

"We're asking for $50. Very clearly $25 is going to go to buy the cookbook," said Hanson.

But the rest of the money will get you a gift card to another of Lincoln Park's many businesses, and serve as a donation to Ecolibrium3, whose mission is to care for the community.

"We help them, they help us, we all do better together," said Hanson.

And it's a team effort within Hanson's circle.

Louis Hanson is co-owner of OMC.

He has the big task of getting the recipes together.

"Trying to convert our large batch recipe down to a home-use cookbook, so that anyone in their home can produce the product in a smaller batch," said Louis Hanson.

Robert Lillegard will be the author, back again after writing the Duluth Grill cookbook.

Tom Hanson hopes this acts as a stimulus package for the area.

"We want to see our residents of Lincoln Park benefit from this expansion in our neighborhood. And if it all goes backward. If our fellow business owners go out of business, we will all suffer," said Hanson. "This isn't about us, it's about a neighborhood."

Hanson's goal is to sell a thousand cookbooks, but of course he would love to sell more.

You can pre-order now and select which Lincoln Park business you would like that $15 gift card to be for.

The gift cards will be sent out right away.

The book will be released in September.

Below is a link to the initiative's website, where you can pre-order now.

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Dan Wolfe

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