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“Sir Bens! What happened to you?”

Sir Benedict's Tavern
Ranked #18 of 260 Restaurants in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Superior, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“Sir Bens! What happened to you?”
Reviewed September 2, 2012

Let's prefix this review: I haven't been to Sir Ben's in many, many months. Why? Because I swore I wouldn't return because of the horrible service. But let me compare and contrast here:

Sir Ben's used to be my #1 stop in Duluth. I'd go out of my way for this joint. Their formula is simple: beer & sandwiches. A perfect combination! However, somewhere along the line in the last year something change (it's been rumored it was with the change of ownership): their service got horrible. When you want some food from Sir Ben's, you get in line at the sandwich counter. A crack team of sandwich gurus whip you up a sandwich and a bowl of soup el pronto. You pay for your food at the end of the line (or add it to your tab) and then viola!--the bar is right there for you to pick from a multitude of fantastic local taps & bottles. But here's the new way things work: you just STAND IN LINE FOR SANDWICHES FOREVER. Staffers now bicker and lollygag along instead of putting together your meal. I've been there twice now since my first bad experience (I believe in second chances), and every time I've been there, I've had to LEAVE THE LINE AND GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. It just takes that long.

Now, in the times of Olde at Sir Ben's, I'd grab my very delicious sandwich (put sprouts on everything!), get a delicious South Shore Nut Brown, and sit outside and enjoy the amazing view of Lake Superior (free tip, Wednesday evenings during the summer is the sailboat regatta; Sir Ben's is a great place to watch it from). In the evening, a local fiddle band would strike up, adding some great old-world vibes to the English-style pub. Pint after pint would go by. Then I'd get an app, and before I knew it, it was time to call it a night. I could spend the whole night at Sir Ben's...but nowadays, I can't even get through the food line.

I hope they get things ironed out at Sir Ben's, at least service-wise, before the winter. I plan on going back to give this place a third try when the snow flies. Hopefully I'll be able to restore my review to a five-star review then.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank fonixmunkee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis
Level 6 Contributor
476 reviews
272 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
“Over 30 years of fun, food, music and great beer.”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

I have probably eaten here 4 times over the years and wanted to go back so I could register a review on a early Saturday night in August. They had some really nice tap beers from Bells and a lot of micro brews. The bread is homemade and they have a lot of variety in their deli sandwiches. The deck which is right beside East Superior street and can be: loud when the guy with the Cuda did a burn out, endearing when the old model T went by with the newlyweds, or rather fun with the 2 older gentlemen playing guitars and harmonicas. I liked it, but some might like the proximity to the street as it can be a parade of cars going by. I liked going and will be back again. It is a nice change of pace from all of the restaurants down by Canal Park. This appears to be a family run outfit and not a big chain and is casual dining.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Veni-vidi-vicidotcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Quaint and very good”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This place has just about anything to drink you could want. Their specialty sandwiches are very unique. I had the flatbread fontina, and it was very good. They have plenty of outdoor seating and the view of Lake Superior is great. My only complaint is that too many of the specialty sandwiches cannot be ordered "by the half" to go with soup. But, I would visit again.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank A M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Pretty darned good”
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We "happened upon" this place after discovering a number of the other places we were interested in were closed early on a Sunday evening. There is an extensive beer menu and a number of apps salads and interesting sandwiches to chose from. We split a garden salad with good homemade caesar dressing. Hubby had a grilled wrap with smoked turkey and fontina. Pretty yummy. I had a very good portabella sandwich on rye bread. Also very good. I'd go back.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Barb A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing”
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I have to say I like the patio but it in no way makes up for everything else. Go there if you want to have only part of your party get their meals super late (somehow, even when ordered at the same time they forget to ring up the females of the group food) and for the ones that do get their food they get the wrong thing. ("Here's your chicken burrito." "I ordered beef." "Then it's beef." And it was chicken. Really?!) Also don't look for the owner because when told about the terrible service he cowardly left out the back door leaving his poor unexperienced bartender who "can't do anything," not even apologize, to talk with us. If only this was the first time I got terrible service, but I can safely say it is the last. If you go to sir bens you'll end up supporting someone's meth habit.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank lokiandlaney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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