Entrepreneurship :Development News

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Craft Salon opens in downtown Royal Oak

A new salon has opened in Royal Oak and its co-founders are working hard to ensure that it caters to everyone. Punks and lawyers, blacks and whites, men and women -- all are welcome customers, the co-founders say.

Craft Salon opened March 22, offering the gamut of hair, makeup, and facial waxing services. The owners, Sarah Markel and Natasha Vranic, have been in the industry for about a decade each, meeting at another Royal Oak salon along the way. Markel says that Vranic had been wanting to open her own salon for a while before Markel agreed to join the venture. It's a natural partnership, she says.

"We collaborated on some projects and we found that we work together really well. And we fight even better," says Markel. "It's productive. We fight like sisters. We balance each other out."

The pair characterizes their own style as gothy -- "like Beetlejuice at a cocktail party," says Vranic. But she and Markel employ people with a wide range of styles, ensuring something for everyone. They challenge themselves and their staff to be well-rounded and versatile.

"We're always educating ourselves, pushing ourselves to be better and stay up on all the latest trends," says Vranic. "We're creative people capable of any type of clientele."

Craft Salon is located in an old 1920s farmhouse, just blocks from Main Street. The building was a salon in a previous incarnation, though some things had to be fixed. Markel says that the fact that the business is in an old house makes everything immediately comfortable, with lots of windows and the warmth of wood floors.

Markel and Vranic encourage appointments to be made via text message, which can be made at (248) 990-4169.

Craft Salon is located at 522 E. 11 Mile Rd. in Royal Oak. It is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Historic Auburn Hills log cabin now a co-working space with wireless internet, free coffee

The historic collided with the modern in downtown Auburn Hills this month. The DEN, a co-working space complete with the expected amenities, opened in the oldest building in Auburn Hills in early February. The co-working space requires paid membership for access from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public from 4 p.m. to midnight on weekdays. General public access begins at 2 p.m. on weekends.

The Nusbaumer Homestead Log Cabin was built in 1836. The Nusbaumer family would be quite surprised by the state of their cabin today, what with it being outfitted with high speed wireless internet; a communal printer, copier, and scanner; and conference rooms. Even the location has changed; the log cabin was moved from its original site near the Joslyn and I-75 interchange to downtown Auburn Hills in 1986.

City officials have kept the structure largely intact but made it more attractive to modern workers, offering ergonomic office furniture and complimentary tea and coffee in addition to the other office amenities. That juxtaposition is what makes Auburn Hills special, says the city's director of authorities, Samantha Mariuz.

"Our motto is, 'Honoring the past, building the future'," says Mariuz. "We took the DEN and built something that honors that motto."

The structure itself is 1500 square feet and retains a number of original exposed structural beams. What's not original are the electrical outlets at every seat. There is a patio and a common work area to congregate, as well as a number of independent work stations.

The DEN is located at 3388 Auburn Rd. in Auburn Hills.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Griffin Claw Brewing Company plans Birmingham expansion, second location in Rochester Hills

Fresh off the December 2015 opening of a new retail area at their Birmingham bar and brewing facility, Griffin Claw Brewing Company has announced plans to open a second location in Rochester Hills.

Making use of an old East Side Mario's American Italian Eatery building at 2273 Crooks Rd., Griffin Claw's second location will serve as a think tank and test kitchen for the company. The 8,000-square-foot facility will be used to develop, brew, and package new beers, including small batch, seasonal, and specialty beers. The bottling line and additional brewing equipment will make the move from Birmingham to Rochester Hills.

According to a statement released by the brewing company, the new facility will double as a place for customers to come in and learn about breweries. "The craft beer community is always changing and embracing collaboration," says Griffin Claw spokesman Scott LePage.

The second location will allow the brewery to experiment and develop new beers without interrupting its core product line. Griffin Claw is known for its Norm's Raggedy Ass IPA and Grind Line Pale Ale beers, among others.

With the extra room resulting from moving some equipment to the new location, the Birmingham facility is set to see some major upgrades. Griffin Claw will triple the size of its current brewhouse, building a state-of-the-art 50-bbl brewing facility. The expansion will allow Griffin Claw to brew 50,000-bbl at the Birmingham location per year, this thanks to brand new 150-bbl fermenters. Bbl is brewery parlance for barrels. There are 31 gallons to a barrel.

The Griffin Claw Birmingham location will also install a High Gravity quality control system, another state-of-the-art technology to ensure their best and most consistent beer possible, say brewery representatives.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

New restaurant serves fresh, delicious vegan and vegetarian food in Ferndale

As the seasons change, so, too, does the menu at the recently opened GreenSpace Cafe in downtown Ferndale. That's because the restaurant and bar features non-GMO and organic ingredients in the foods and drinks it serves, ingredients bought fresh at venues like local farmers markets. The items are fresh and healthy, yes, but perhaps most important of all, they're delicious. So says Joel Kahn, who opened the Cafe with his co-owner son, Daniel Kahn, in December 2015.

Health is an underlying current throughout GreenSpace Cafe. This should be no surprise for those familiar with Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist and long-time vegan who has focused many a public speaking engagement around the benefits of healthy eating. Absent are the excessive amounts of salts, oils, and sugars. Gone are the fryers and microwaves. Fresh ingredients purchased from places like the Royal Oak Farmers Market and Eastern Market are combined with healthy spices to create the menu.

Even the cocktails are healthier at GreenSpace. That's because the bartenders utilize the Michigan-based Drought juice brand in their craft cocktail mixes. Drought is organic, cold-pressed, raw juice, adding a dose of nutrition to the margaritas, Manhattans, and cosmopolitans that the restaurant serves. Drought also runs a retail space in the cafe storefront, complete with its own independent set of hours. For Dr. Kahn, having Drought on board is an asset. The pairing is, as he says, "a wonderful synergy of talent."

The space itself takes up two old storefronts, the locations of the now-closed Maria's Front Room and Just 4 Us. The GreenSpace team knocked down the wall between the two storefronts to create one continuous 4,000-square-foot space that seats about 100. Having torn out the drywall and drop ceilings, the Kahns describe the new space as having an urban loft feel, with brand new state-of-the-art equipment, to boot.

GreenSpace Cafe is located at 215 W. Nine Mile Rd. in Ferndale, Michigan.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

McClary Bros. Drinking Vinegars opens Farmington storefront

After laying a foundation for its brand of flavored drinking vinegars on the farmers market and special event circuit, Detroit-born and made McClary Bros. has moved into a brick-and-mortar space of its own in downtown Farmington.

The store, which opened on Dec. 5 at 32621 Grand River Ave., adds some retail spice to owner Jess McClary's entrepreneurial and socially conscious operation. McClary, who named the business after her twin sons, has resurrected a Colonial-era drink mixer in the vinegars she's created, which come in a variety of flavors including Detroit Strawberry, Michigan Cranberry, Beet & Carrot, and Pineapple & Fennel. They can be used in cocktails, craft sodas, water, cooking sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and more.

McClary Bros. vinegars, AKA shrubs, are made in Detroit by members of food pantry Forgotten Harvest's workforce development program. In addition, the by-product apples used for making the vinegar are re-used by a start-up in its chutney. And McClary is committed to using only locally-grown or made ingredients.

Earlier this year, McClary made an appearance on ABC's Shark Tank, a show where entrepreneurs pitch their products to a panel of celebrity investors. While she failed to find an investor, the media attention boosted her sales, which helped make opening the store possible. In keeping with its history, McClary's products will continue to be available on the market and pop-up circuit.

Source: McClary Bros. Old Timey Drinking Vinegar
Writer: Kim North Shine

Craft beer, home cooking, and family come together at forthcoming HomeGrown Brewing Co. in Oxford

John Powers learned the art of home brewing from his son a decade ago. He and his wife, Marie, love to entertain in their home. And throughout their family a mix of talents and skills are coming together with the couple's love of hosting and brewing as they prepare to open HomeGrown Brewing Co. in Oxford.

Their plans will turn the iconic Veterans Memorial Civic Center at 28 N. Washington St. into a beer garden, dining room, sitting room, and eventually an event space upstairs. There will be room for about 100 customers, and up to 20 full- and part-time jobs will come with the opening that's expected in 2016.

Fireplaces, games and dart boards will offer gathering spots for customers. Brewing tanks will contribute to the decor.

The brewpub will serve the Powers family's flagship beers and experiment with seasonal brews along with house-made, fresh food.

The feel will be homey and family-centered with John as head brewer and Marie the culinary manager. Eldest son Joe will return from Australia to be assistant brewer. His wife Kate will work as media liaison, and son Jeff Powers will head up sales, marketing, and the front of the house. Youngest daughter, Katie Powers, will be the social media manager.

"Between engineers, cooks, artists, managers, and journalists, we feel very lucky to have so much collective knowledge in the family. And we look forward to seeing that transform into a great business," Marie Powers says in a statement announcing the business.

Source: John & Marie Powers, proprietors, Home Grown Brew Co.
Writer: Kim North Shine

Carhartt to expand Dearborn headquarters, create 215 jobs

At 126 years old, workwear maker Carhartt has seen the popular appeal of its clothing grow beyond the work site, which is why the company is now expanding its headquarters in Dearborn.

The expansion will allow the company to grow its product line -- the go-to attire for so many jobs and trades -- and invest in research and development that will enhance its offerings and find untapped uses for its jackets, coats, overalls, coveralls and other clothing and accessories printed with the increasingly-recognizable Carhartt logo.

The nearly $18.6-million expansion of Carhartt's property on Mercury Drive in Dearborn will create 215 jobs and extend the company's reach. Founded in 1889 in Detroit, Carhartt recently opened a flagship retail store on Cass Avenue in the city's Midtown neighborhood. The company has opened retail outlets in several others states in recent months.

The headquarters expansion has financial support from the state of Michigan and city of Dearborn. The Michigan Strategic Fund, a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., awarded a $1.3-million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to the Carhartt HQ expansion in an effort to keep the company from opting to open a work site on the east and west coasts, where garment-industry talented is easier for employers to find, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

In addition, the city of Dearborn is keeping the company local by offering a tax abatement that will discount its taxes for eight years.

Source: Kathy Achtenberg, spokesperson, Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Writer: Kim North Shine

Baba's brings belly dancing, kibbeh to downtown Wyandotte

A new Lebanese bar & grill is adding variety to downtown Wyandotte's restaurant scene - and entertainment options.

Baba's Lebanese Bar & Grill opened in mid July at 134 Maple St., across from the downtown clock tower.

Besides serving traditional Lebanese fare, it is building its business with belly dancing and not-at-all Lebanese salsa dance and bar nights with European-inspired cocktails.

Owner Mike Mazloum previously added some spice to Wyandotte's food options with the opening of his Sushi Bar next door to Baba's.

Source: Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Children's boutique brings gear, garments, and guidance to downtown Plymouth

After nearly a decade of selling baby gear and children's clothing, Ann Arbor's Kerrytown retailer Elephant Ears has moved to downtown Plymouth, expanding its reach into metro Detroit.

The family-owned boutique sells baby seats, carriers, packs, cribs, and other gear and employs staff that advises and educates customers looking to make purchases crucial to caring for babies and children and keeping them safe.

The products it sells -- from shampoo and lotion to toys and decor -- are selected based on safety and quality. Elephant Ears specializes in fair trade products that are free of harmful chemicals and toxins.

After nearly a month of renovations, the new store opened July 21 at 436 South Main St. in downtown Plymouth.

Source: Plymouth Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

New $12M ballpark could be home run for Macomb County

A 4,000-seat ballpark is under construction in the city of Utica in Macomb County.

The field will be home to the United Shore Professional Baseball League's three professional teams, which will be made up of "overlooked young players, mostly with college experience, who haven't made it into the major league farm system," says Andrew Appleby, chairman and CEO of General Sports and Entertainment, the ballpark's developer.

"It will be a highly competitive and entertaining style of baseball," he says.

For Utica and Macomb County, the $12-million ballpark, which is located at the northeast corner of Auburn Road and Moscona Drive and will be named Jimmy John's Field, could be an economic home run.

"For the city of Utica, this ballpark will prove to be transformative. For the county of Macomb, it is an economic, quality-of-life, and recreational asset," says Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. "For the region it will prove to be a destination location."

Besides seating for 4,000 spectators, the field will have a grandstand, five dugout suites, five penthouse suites, 12 private patio siutes, a grass berm, and four picnic areas.

The Utica Downtown Development Authority is leasing the land, a former household waste disposal site and brownfield redevelopment project.

In addition to baseball games, the field will host concerts, movie night, community events, and college and high school sporting events.

Construction is expected to take 12 months from this week's groundbreaking and be complete in time for opening day in June 2016.

Source: John Cwikla, spokesperson, Macomb County
Writer: Kim North Shine

Scott Shuptrine Interiors moves into new Grosse Pointe location

A large, long-vacant spot in Grosse Pointe will soon be occupied by Scott Shuptrine Interiors.

The luxury home goods store is opening this week at 17145 Kercheval Ave. in Grosse Pointe's Village shopping district.

The space was previously a Borders bookstore that has now been divided into several new businesses.

Scott Shuptrine is the only home goods store in the Village other than a bed and bath store and a gift shop. At the opposite end of the block is a Calico fabric and upholstery store.

In addition to high-end furniture and accessories, the store will host weekly design classes.

Source: Scott Shuprtine Interiors
Writer: Kim North Shine

Wok Asian Bistro opens in downtown Northville

Wok Asian Bistro, a new restaurant featuring exhibition cooking, opened this week in downtown Northville.

The restaurant at 144 Mary Alexander Ct. serves create-your-own, wok-cooked meals or specialties such as Thai peanut noodles and edamame lo mein.

The owners want to set the restaurant apart by cooking with premium and organic beef, chicken, Thai-imported shrimp, locally- and house-made Asian sauces, and the top selling soy sauce from Japan prepared by a wok master.

Source: Northville Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

MOD Pizza coming to metro Detroit

MOD Pizza (short for Made on Demand) is opening in Livonia June 22.

A second location for the Seattle-based chain known for "super fast" artisanal-style pizza made with organic ingredients in exactly the way customers wish is expected to open in Northville later this summer.

Livonia-based TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants plans to bring 25 MOD Pizza franchises to southeast Michigan in the next five years.

The Livonia location will be located in a 2,600-square-foot space on Middlebelt Road south of I-96.

The Northville store will open in the sprawling Park Place redevelopment at Seven Mile and Haggerty roads.

Besides build-your-own pizzas made from a choice of 30 ingredients and baked in an 800-degree oven in less than three minutes, MODs serve draft beer and handmade milkshakes.

Source: TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants
Writer: Kim North Shine

Royal Oak bar, O'Toole's, opening in Rochester

O'Toole's Irish American Grill in Royal Oak is opening a restaurant in Rochester.

The second O'Toole's could open by fall after renovations on the 9,000-square-foot former restaurant space it will occupy are complete.

O'Toole's owner, Keith Wadle, is a resident of Rochester Hills.

His new restaurant, which is expected to be a family friendly sports bar, will be located at 139 South Main St.

Source: City of Rochester
Writer: Kim North Shine

New dog bone business builds on downtown Plymouth's dog-friendly

Three Dog Bakery has opened a store in downtown Plymouth, filling a vacant storefront and also building on a dog friendly culture that's taking hold downtown.

The new Three Dog Bakery is located at 422 S. Main Street. The owners renovated the spot for the franchise that bakes fresh dog bones and other treats for pets.

Like many other downtown businesses, dogs are welcome inside Three Dog Bakery.

Business owners see the dog-friendly policies as a way to attract customers who stroll downtown with their pets.

Source: Rochester Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

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