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Duluth’s Historic Coney Island Reborn as Martha’s Daughter

From pop up to restaurant: Nyanyika Banda begins serving Wednesday

The chef and owner of Martha’s Daughter
Nyanyika Banda/Facebook

Nyanyika Banda has acclaimed New York restaurants WD-50, Empéllon Taqueria and Mission Chinese on her resume, but she made her name in the Twin Ports hosting popular pop ups inside the Red Herring Lounge. When the Original Coney Island closed at 107 East Superior Street in Duluth, she made the decision to put down more permanent roots and open Martha’s Daughter. Restoring the aged restaurant has been slow-going, but the restaurant will finally open for business with a special dinner tomorrow and regular hours starting Thursday February 15.

Martha’s Daughter is named for her mother, Martha and will serve globally-inspired/New American food leaning heavily on locally sourced ingredients, not always an easy feat around the rocky soils in this part of the state. The restaurant will also serve beer and wine, with focusing sourcing as much as possible from off-the-beaten path companies and those run by women and people of color.

The restaurant’s Facebook page reads like part history lesson, part appetizer as Banda shares photos of fixtures being hung by women collaborators, using #feministrestaurant as a hashtag and including stories of black history with stories about legendary culinary leader Edna Lewis, James Hemings (Jefferson’s chef and slave), and Will Allen, a former basketball player and urban farmer in Milwaukee.

While much of the restaurant has changed, a few touches remain as a nod to the history. The barstools, sign and a few other nods to the OG Coney Island remain. The full day service will be focused on serving comfort to locals, with Martha’s Daughter general manager Kathleen Roberts telling the Duluth News Tribune, “We want people to be able to roll in here after a day of doing landscaping or a day of being a professor and feel comfortable.”

Martha's Daughter

107 East Superior Street, , MN 55802 (218) 481-7887 Visit Website

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