Iron Range’s most active live music venue to close soon

PHOTO: 218 Taphouse FB page

In a blow to the Iron Range music scene, the 218 Taphouse and Shop Coffeehouse in downtown Virginia, Minnesota, will close April 15.

Owners issued the news via an April 3 Facebook post, which reads as follows:

Due to unforeseen circumstances The 218 Taphouse and Shop Coffeehouse will be closing April 15th. We would like to thank everyone for all their support over the last five years. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the community, the musicians, the staff and our loyal patrons. 💕

We look forward to seeing everyone at The 218 for shows/brews/pizza on Thursday, Friday and Saturday over the next 2 weeks (and of course the Duluth Homegrown Iron Range Invasion 4/12) And The Shop Coffeehouse will be open Monday-Friday 7am-11am and Saturday 4/6 for musical brunch with Aurora Baer.

The 218 pulled from the same Northern Minnesota music scene as my Great Northern Radio Show. As such, I’ve gotten to know some of the frequent performers there.

Artists performing original music don’t have as many places to play here on the Iron Range compared to Duluth or the Twin Cities. So losing this venue will hurt them economically, and hit fans looking for something beyond cover bands on Friday or Saturday nights.

If you’re a person interested in solving problems, maybe get together with some friends and talk about ways to put on live music shows on the Iron Range. Talk to business owners about booking original, local music. It’s a small thing that ends up being a big part of quality of life in a small town.


  1. Ranger47 says

    Good idea to engage the business community. However, I’d suggest speaking only to those business owners who offer 401K’s, paid health insurance, paid 6 week maternity/paternity leave, 3 week starting vacation, closed shop and $15 dollar minimum wage. Others are suspect. 

    • If I was an organizer type of person, I’d speak to all. There is always the possibility of opening people’s mind to new ways of thinking.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.