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Delft Bistro transforms old marquee in downtown Marquette

The historic Delft Theater on Washington Street in downtown Marquette has been a mainstay of the town's culture for decades, but usually as a movie theater.

Under renovation since its last theater tenant left in 2012, it's now re-opened as a cozy, upscale restaurant, with cheery messages returning to the familiar lights of its marquee out front, called the Delft Bistro.

Owned by Tom Vear and Jennifer Ray, also owners of the next-door downtown success story that is Donckers' candy shop and restaurant, the Delft Bistro's menu is described as "modern American." It features both local-inspired dishes like poutine and rainbow trout, as well as selections that might not be out of place at a top urban restaurant, like steak tartare or seared duck breast.

Features inside the renovated space include a loft dining area using the theater's former balcony, and repurposed materials from the old Delft Theater. And the history of film hasn't been left behind; various movies are played with dinner each night (the restaurant is open from 4-11 p.m. each evening except Mondays.)

Funding for the renovation came partially from a Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Community Development Block Grant of about $480,000 in 2014, with Vear and Ray's commitment to add at least 25 new jobs to downtown when the place was open. (They say now that hiring has taken place, it's now more like 35.)

The Delft Bistro also hosts private events for up to 200 guests. It's located at 139 W. Washington Street in Marquette.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: The Delft Bistro


Spend your loose change at the Vender Bender in Marquette

Looking for a place to spend your loose pocket change in Marquette? Well, head on over to Presque Isle Avenue and the Vender Bender.

The little location, which can be found near Jean Kay's Pasties at 1741 Presque Isle Ave., has an old-school arcade vibe about it, with games and vending machines, all waiting to become home to your quarters.

There is a nice variety of games available for those looking to get out of the house but still want their video game fix. But there's more than screen-based games at the entertainment center. There are also those lovely claw machines, as well as vending for snacks and sodas, among other things.

Stop on in and check it out if you're looking to spend some of your free time and you've got some quarters rattling around in your car's ashtray.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Upper Hand distribution soon to reach Minnesota

Our neighbors to the west who are known for their multitudes of lakes are about to get a little present directly from the Upper Peninsula -- some damn good brews.

Upper Hand Brewery is based in Escanaba and owned by Larry Bell, who is known for owning down-state Bell's Brewery. Currently, Upper Hand Brewery is distributing throughout the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, but plans are in place to expand the reach of their product to Minnesota.

The entire Upper Hand beer lineup will be made available for shops, bars, and restaurants to order in the North Star State. That lineup includes four year-round beers as well as seasonal and specialty offerings.

“As we expand Upper Hand’s presence, it’s important for us to find the right distributor partners who share our values and dedication to providing good beer where it’s meant to be enjoyed. Upper Hand beers are only available throughout the north, and Minnesota is the perfect addition to our distribution footprint,” says Bell.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Jim's Music in Marquette set to move in April

Don't worry about losing a place to get your instruments and music lessons, Marquette -- Jim's Music may be departing their Marquette Mall location, but they're making the move to Third Street for a new home.

Jim's will be a welcome sight on the Third Street corridor since McDonald's Music sadly closed in 2016. They'll be moving to 1212 North Third Street, the former home of Johnson's Shoes. There, Jim's Music will continue to offer up music lessons and a wide variety of new and used instruments.

Anyone who has visited Jim's Music in the Marquette Mall knows they were running out of room in their current location. At the new Third Street location, they'll be able to expand their offerings and selection.

The Marquette location for Jim's Music is managed by Jeff Krebs.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Flying Moose Cafe opens in Marquette library

One of Marquette's true gems is the Peter White Public Library. Honestly, there isn't another library in the Upper Peninsula that is quite as spectacular.

But there's a gem within the gem, and all you have to do is head downstairs to find it.

The library cafe, which recently re-opened by the name of The Flying Moose Cafe, is a great place to stop and grab a quiet bite to eat or a nice cup o' Joe. The cafe is run by the same people who own The Flying Moose on Washington Street in Marquette (just in case the name didn't tip you off). They bring the same level of quality and commitment to their customers to the cafe location where patrons can pick up sandwiches, soup, baked items and a nice variety of other options.

And don't worry about not being able to enjoy your lunch while enjoying the library -- Peter White allows food and beverages throughout every part of the library with the exception of the computer lab.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Village Pub in Chatham readies for reopening

While the doors aren't quite open yet, there's good news coming from the Village Pub in Chatham, and that's that those closed doors are going to be open sometime in the very near future.

Tammy Shega, Paul Shega and Don Johnson purchased the Village Pub back in September and ever since they have been busy renovating both the interior and the exterior of the building.

The pub has already begun hiring for multiple positions and right now are just waiting on the red tape to get cleared in Lansing so they can be approved for their liquor license.

The new owners will be offering up everything you'd expect from a small-town pub, as well as a selection of food for those looking to grab a bite to eat.

You can follow the Village Pub's Facebook page for continued updates.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Need a place to recover? Marquette's newest restaurant is just right.

There's a new restaurant and bar in Marquette and it's in a familiar location to many diners. The Recovery Room opened in late 2016 in the home of the former Wild Rover on Washington Street in the downtown district.

The Recovery Room offers up a nice variety of food as well as a selection of specialty drinks as well as a minimum of 15 craft beers on tap.

The kitchen is open until 10 p.m. each night, and the bar is open until 2 a.m. on most nights, though may close earlier if business is slow.

So far, that hasn't been much of a problem as folks are enjoying the new restaurant.

According to the Recovery Room Facebook page, some of their in-house made items include spinach artichoke dip, beer cheese dip and the corned beef for their delicious reuben sandwich.

If you don't have time to stop in to grab a bite, the Recovery Room also offers their full menu for take-out every day until the kitchen is closed.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Zephyr offers up wine, beer, and tasty eats in Marquette

Marquette has bars. Marquette even has a cigar bar opening (to a very select few who wish to buy in). But what Marquette didn't have until recently was a wine bar. That's changed thanks to the opening of Zephyr, located on Front Street across from Getz's in the downtown district.

Zephyr has a huge selection of wine thanks to the business relationship with Everyday Wines, located on Baraga Avenue. But it's not just wines they are offering. There's beer and, eventually, there will be a coffee bar as well.

Don't think that's enough to satisfy? Well, feel free to try their traditionally cured meats and cheeses, which are selected by the owners through the same taste-testing process that they use to choose their wines. Additionally, Zephyr also offers up small plates, soups and desserts, all of which are homemade and ready for the discerning palate.  

Zephyr Wine Bar and Tap Room is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. They also have an area known as The Cellar available for private events and meetings.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Lift Nutrition opens in Escanaba

A new nutrition and fitness business just opened its doors in downtown Escanaba.

Also a new Delta County Chamber of Commerce member, Lift Nutrition is welcoming customers interested in improving their health and wellness at 1109 Ludington Street in Escanaba.

They recently held an open house, and owners Kevin and Brittany Angsten are constantly tweaking the products and services they have available to best suit local customers' needs.

Their main products are sports nutrition, bodybuilding, health and wellness supplements, including CrossFit products, to address needs including muscle building, weight loss, weight gain, recovery, joint help, and cognitive help.

The Angstens are certified sports nutritionists and assure their clients they keep the focus on pure, bioavailable and effective nutritional supplements, with the end goal of helping others get and stay healthy. They also offer expert knowledge on how to attain sports nutrition, bodybuilding and CrossFit goals.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Lift Nutrition

UPHP opens new office in Marquette

The Upper Peninsula Health Plan announced its grand opening in Marquette with a ribbon cutting this week.
The group is a U.P.-based health plan that manages care for members all over the Upper Peninsula through a network of local providers in local communities. According to the Lake Superior Community Partnership, which held the ribbon cutting along with UPHP, the plan's mission is to innovate health care and ensure quality, cost-effective care to improve overall health in the communities it serves.
UPHP is not new to the area; it's been around for several years, and in 2008 won a national award for its regional cooperative prescription and pharmacy plan. It does, however, have a new office now, located in the newly-finished Liberty Way complex at 853 West Washington Street in Marquette.
Some of the participants in the health plan are Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, UP Health System, Dickinson County Healthcare System and several others across the U.P.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior Community Partnership

Staybridge Suites opens in downtown Marquette

A new upscale long-stay hotel, the Staybridge Suites, is now open in Marquette.
It's the third and final building of the Liberty Way development on Washington Street (formerly the site of the Bunny Bread commercial bakery), owned by developer Veridea Group.
Staybridge Suites has 102 rooms and is located with quick access to the city's bike path as well as on the main downtown artery. The rooms are a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom suites, and amenities include meeting space, daily hot breakfast buffet, evening guest reception, daily housekeeping, guest laundry, fitness center, 24-hour business center, and an outdoor terrace.
It's the U.P.'s first extended-stay hotel, and Veridea president and CEO Bob Mahaney says as such, it's a milestone.
"The Staybridge Suites offers both business and leisure visitors a new level of lodging in our market that is much needed and that will support the strong growth underway in Marquette," Mahaney says. " It also represents the culmination of 4 years of effort by our partners -- the City of Marquette, its Brownfield Authority, MEDC, and our financial partners -- and our team of associates to transform a vacant manufacturing site into Liberty Way, which now stands completed."
Liberty Way has been a multi-stage, multi-year project totaling $45 million and also including two mixed-use office, retail and residential buildings.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Veridea Group

Star Line to operate former Arnold ferries

As the venerable Arnold Line ferry service to and from Mackinac Island goes out of business, Star Line has announced they'll be acquiring much of Arnold's assets, including the Huron, the only year-round passenger ferry serving island residents.
Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry will purchase five classic ferries, one freight boat, four docks including the main Arnold dock on Mackinac Island, a boatyard, and parking lots and ticket booths in both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.
This is the last season for passenger service from Arnold, but Star Line will uphold the winter passenger service agreement for the Huron, with the first transition coming on the year-round ferry, which will remain at its current docks.
Financial details of the purchase were not announced. Star Line has been operating since 1978 and is known for its high-speed catamaran-style boats.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry

OSF St. Francis breaks ground on new Gladstone building

OSF St. Francis Hospital broke ground at the end of October on a new medical office building in Gladstone, to replace its current Gladstone clinic.
The new building is both updated and bigger at 18,000 square feet, to be located at 145 4th Avenue NE. Developer Cullinan Properties and OSF, Inc. are putting $5 million into the project to improve health care in Gladstone.
Officials from the hospital and community held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site just before Halloween, and OSF director of physician practices, Dr. Kim Johnson, said the new facility will make leaps for accessibility for patients, and add services available right in the community.
The added space means more patient exam rooms and two state-of-the-art minor treatment rooms to improve wound care, a new lab and medical imaging equipment including an on-site digital x-ray machine, and an office for occupational medicine and audiology services, to serve rehab patients in Gladstone.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: OSF St. Francis Hospital and Medical Group

New gift store opens in Ishpeming

A new business is welcoming West End shoppers to the Gossard Building in downtown Ishpeming-- and just in time for Christmas shopping.
UPtown Gifts is located in Suite 111, on the first floor of the venerable Ishpeming landmark building, on Cleveland Avenue.
It celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce recently, and welcomed new visitors with an open house showcasing UPtown Gifts' wares, which include original, creative, handmade and vintage items for all gift occasions.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce

Michigan Tech submits plan for new health technology complex

Plans are underway at Michigan Technological University to build three capital projects over the next five years.
The university's board approved the five-year plan at their October meeting, and now it'll go to the state for approval and funding. What Tech wants to do is build a new engineering and health technologies complex in two phases, and also has requested capital for integrating student maker spaces on campus.
First up would, of course, be the first phase of the H-STEM complex, as they're calling it, costing $39.6 million, of which the university would pay about a quarter. If the state gives the go-ahead and agrees to provide the rest of the money, that phase would start in 2018, with blueprints and additional private fundraising.
The idea behind the complex is human-centered education and research, bringing teams of researchers and students from fields like biomedical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, computer, and materials engineering, biology, chemistry, cognitive and learning sciences, computer sciences, kinesiology and integrative physiology, all working together with shared equipment in flexible lab spaces.
The goal is to position MTU and its graduates to work in health and related technologies as those fields grow and demand further research. Work at the center would include development of therapeutic devices, sensors and instruments, and devising health strategies.
"Current economic projections indicate that demand for technological innovations related to the way that humans interact with technology, as well as human health, is going to grow substantially,” says President Glenn Mroz of the planned complex.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University
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