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Sikora Sheet Metal has new owner

The Dickinson Area Chamber Alliance announced the new ownership of a long-established western U.P. company recently with a ribbon cutting.


Sikora Sheet Metal in Iron Mountain, a community mainstay for many years, was bought by Craig Harris, the former co-owner of Don's HVAC in Escanaba.


Harris and his family live in Vulcan, and Harris is originally from Hermansville. He went to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay and worked in the Green Bay area for several years before returning home to the U.P.


The new ownership doesn't mean a lot is changing at Sikora, according to the announcement -- Harris says he still employs the same experienced employees and the location is still 216 East Hughitt Street in Iron Mountain. Sikora Sheet Metal offers sales and service of forced air heating and air conditioning, hot water boilers, in-floor heating, outdoor wood boilers, and water heaters, among others.


Writer: Kim Eggleston

Source: Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce


Express Coffee Co. has new owners

A coffee shop in Escanaba has new owners and a new face at the window.


Express Coffee Co. at 2428 Ludington Street is a drive-through coffee shop and is now owned by Jenah and Jeremy Murray of Escanaba. Former owner Nancy Murray announced the sale of the business as she took a job in Iron Mountain.


It is located across from the Delta Plaza Mall and is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., although the new owners say they will be experimenting with new hours as well as new offerings.


The Murrays have two young daughters and say they are excited about the new opportunity, and thank new and existing customers for their patience as the family gets used to running Express Coffee Co. You can contact them via email here.


Writer: Kim Eggleston

Source: Express Coffee Co.


New food truck hits shores of Au Train

A new food truck is welcoming those who are hanging out in the Au Train area this summer.


Northwoods Eats and Treats will be serving up a delicious variety of U.P.-made and Michigan products revolving around summery burgers and hot dogs, from a new truck that will be located at the Doucette bridge in Au Train (you'll see it if you drive through, don't worry, it's right by the kayaks... and it's bright orange!)


It's run by Au Train summer veteran the Northwoods Resort, which hosts cabins and kayak rentals on the north shore of Au Train Lake. The menu features Vollwerth hot dogs, brats, Polish sausage, burgers and more, from the Hancock-based meat company. Some of the recipes, like the Yooper Dog, Michigan Dog, and LumberJack, are both U.P.- and gourmet-inspired. According to the resort, even the accompaniments are Michigan-made, like Great Lakes potato chips, Faygo pop, and Randall Bakery buns.


The menu is expected to rotate and change as summer goes on, so it's worth making a couple stops out to the lovely sandy shores of Au Train for some tasty food truck goodness this summer.


Writer: Kim Eggleston

Source: Northwoods Resort


Edge of Reality VR arcade pops up in Marquette

If you've been wondering what the new VR games and apps are like, a new pop-up business in Marquette is offering people the chance to try it out without buying their own.


Edge of Reality VR Arcade is a temporary arcade located at 333 West Washington Street in Marquette, and is open evenings and weekends. The arcade offers state-of-the-art virtual reality gaming and experiences for individuals and groups (yes, it's ok to just come hang out and watch your friends overreact to the VR, too!)


The price is a lot lower than your own Playstation VR, for example -- $15 for half an hour, $20 for an hour, or $30 for 2 hours, with party and group packages also available.


Edge of Reality is open 3-6 pm Monday through Wednesday; 3-9 pm Thursday and Friday; noon-9 pm Saturday and noon-7 pm Sunday.


Writer: Kim Eggleston

Source: Edge of Reality

New children's store opens in Escanaba

Downtown Escanaba has a new specialty retail store, Olivia Bean & Company.


The Delta County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at the new store, owned by Ashlie Neumeier, last week to celebrate the new addition to Ludington Street shopping.


Olivia Bean & Company is a children's clothing store specializing in cute clothes, gifts and accessories for ages from birth up through children's sizes. The store's focus is on "helping even the littlest one make a huge fashion statement," and it looks like that's just what they're doing, from special-occasion outfits like christening gowns to everyday kids' clothes with a touch of the original.


It's located at 1406 Ludington Street in Escanaba and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Writer: Kim Eggleston

Source: Olivia Bean & Company

Contrast Coffee expanding to Marquette

Coffee shops continue to pop up across America as our citizens find new ways to introduce copious amounts of caffeine into their bloodstream. In Marquette, it's no different. Coffee shops are pretty easy to find, ranging from quick drive-thru style to national chains to places that serve some of the best muffins and bagels you're going to find in the city.

And now there's going to be a new shop in town thanks to the expansion of Iron River-based Contrast Coffee.

Contrast will be opening a location on Third Street in the old Forsberg Flowers location. There, customers will be able to enjoy craft roasted coffee, a full menu featuring all the typical fare you'd expect from a modern coffee shop, as well as a variety of drinks to meet any tastes.

There is no set open date for the future home of Contrast Coffee, but a post on their Facebook page on June 7 indicates "We've got some work to do before we'll be open for business, but we're excited to bring you along every step of the way."
Writer: Sam Eggleston

Sault Ste. Marie's only music store under new ownership

There is nothing quite as sweet as the sound of music in the air, and the best place to find that music -- and the instruments that make it -- is at Crooked Music in Sault Ste. Marie.

Formerly known as Grooves Music, the downtown Sault Ste. Marie music store recently was purchased and reopened by Zac and Christie Crook.

The store, which is located at 540 Ashmun Street, has a fine selection of musical equipment, musical accessories, instruments, music-themes apparel, and more.

For those audiophiles who are making the transition back to vinyl? You're in luck in that department, too, because Crooked Music has a wide variety of records to meet any taste in tunes.

Additionally, for those looking to make music instead of just listen to it, the shop has a variety of music lessons available for those wanting to lean the craft.

For more information about Crooked Music, follow the company on Facebook.
Writer: Sam Eggleston

New crepe restaurant opens in Sault Ste. Marie

Sometimes you're just in the mood for something a little different when it comes to your dining selections. In Sault Ste. Marie, you have all the choices you're used to being able to find just about anywhere, like Chinese, fast food, steak, burgers, and more. But, you also have a new choice that take a twist on a popular French dish.

Oh Crepe recently opened its doors at 341 W. Portage Avenue, which is pretty much right across from the Soo Locks Visitors' Center. There you can find a nice selection of crepes ranging from traditional to sweet treats to savory meals.

Owners Zak and Korina McClellan saw an opening in a rather typical food market and took the chance in April when they opened the doors of their new shop. Inside, visitors will find such crepe delights as Nutella fruit, breakfast, chicken bacon ranch, reuben, PB&J, pizza, apple pie, and so much more.

The shop, like many in Sault Ste. Marie, will be seasonal, so don't miss out on your chance to try them by waiting too long.
You can follow their menu updates and find out more about the business by visiting their Facebook page.
Writer: Sam Eggleston

New pizza joint coming to Sawyer

There appears to be a new pizza place opening up in Sawyer. 

A sign up on the building next to the Gwinn-Sawyer Veterinary Clinic proudly proclaims "Adam's Place Pizzeria and Family Dining." 

While there isn't much information about the new restaurant, residents of Sawyer must be pretty happy to hear there is something local coming in to the former Air Force base. 

Sawyer has been without a dining establishment since closure of the Black Bear Grill, which was located in the old "W" building. That restaurant was the second to close in Sawyer, with the first being the popular Tailwinds Bar and Grill, which closed unexpectedly a few years ago. 

The owner, Adam Anderson, has stated on his GoFundMe page that the pizza joint will employ at least nine people. The restaurant has recently undergone a roof repair, and a new pizza oven has been installed. Early expectations were for a mid-May opening in 2017 but that has been delayed as final repairs are being completed to the building. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston

New restaurant prepped to open in Marquette

It looks like there's about to be a new place in Marquette for the foodies, tourists, and hungry Yoopers to hit -- the Iron Bay Restaurant & Drinkery.

If you're from the area or do much dining around Marquette, you'll recognize the location as the longtime home for L'Attitudes, which closed up shop last year to make way for Iron Bay.

Thankfully, it sounds like tastebuds won't be disappointed in the new kid on the block, because top-notch hamburgers, sandwiches, baked goods, and dinner plates.

And don't you worry your little head about desserts. Iron Bay will be featuring a nice selection of pies from Lorri Smith, who is the owner and baker at Peace Pie Company in Marquette.

The new restaurant is slated to open to the public May 22 -- just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend tourism surge.

If you're thirsty, have no fear -- bar manager Brandon Maki is ready to mix up concoctions for your enjoyment. One such drink is the signature Amaretto Flip, which is a sweet and sour drink made with amaretto, fresh lemon juice, simply syrup, orange bitters and egg white. That is just one of many signature drinks and old standbys available at Iron Bay's bar.
Additionally, there will be a coffee bar inside Iron Bay, which will feature all the coffee drinks folks have come to know and become slightly addicted to.

Iron Bay is owned by Joe Constance and ill Hayes and will be open seven days a week from 11 am. to 11 p.m.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Vinyl Destination opens in Ishpeming's Gossard Building

Looking for a place to find that special record or CD that you've been yearning to have? Well, take a trip down to Vinyl Destination in Ishpeming and you're quite possibly going to find what you're looking for.

The new record shop, which is located in the Gossard Building at 308 Cleveland Avenue, Suite 110, carries a wide variety of eclectic music options ranging from records to 45s to cassettes, DVDs and more.

Don't worry if you don't have a player to listen to that crackling vinyl on -- the store also has turntables for sale for those looking to get into the resurging world of vinyl music.

They are closed Sunday and Monday, but open from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on stock they get in, or to reach out and inquire about a specific item you're looking for.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

New men-focused salons open in Marquette and Escanaba

If you're a fellow looking to get his hair cut in either Marquette or Escanaba, your options aren't limited to just the typical barber shops and salons anymore.

In Marquette, you can stop in at the Guy's Place on US 41, in the same shopping center that includes Starbucks and GameStop. In Escanaba, head over to US 2 and stop at the Man Cave, located right next to the Thai Express.

The Man Cave, which touts itself as a "hair & beard parlor", is open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 10 a.m. except for the noon opening on Sunday. Services include "hand-crafted" haircuts and beard trims and washing/conditioning, as well as scalp treatments, nail treatments, hair coloring, and hair removal.

Similar services are available at the Guy's Place. When you get a haircut there, you not only get the haircut, but also shampooing and conditioning, hot towel treatments, eyebrow and mustache trims, neck trim, and, of course, a shoulder massage. Oh, and you get to watch your own personal television during the cut, too. Other services include grey blending, waxing, and beard trims. While you're waiting, you can shuck shelled peanuts to snack on, read the local newspaper, or watch television.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Old School Arcade offers classic experience in Gwinn

Remember the days of loading quarter after quarter into that game at the local arcade, pushing yourself to beat that big, bad boss or make it to the next level? How about the pinball machines as the lights and sounds try to distract you from earning that free game or breaking the high score?

Well, you can relive those days in the Old School Arcade, located on M-35 in Gwinn, right next to Video World in Gwinn and across from the high school (Go Modeltowners!).

There, you can play classic arcade games or try your hand at numerous pinball machines. You can play shooters like "Area 51" or a hack/slash game like "Altered Beast." Racing games, basketball, fighting games, and even a game where you can jockey a horse await you.

And don't worry -- in classic arcade style, you can use your quarters to snag some soda or a snack out of the vending machine, too.

Writer: Sam Eggleston

New gastropub opens up shop in downtown Marquette

There's a new hotspot in downtown Marquette, named DIGS. The gastropub takes its name from its owners, Double Trouble Entertainment's Bill and Pat Digneit and Alyssa Pilot.

It's located in the former Doghouse pub and is enlivening the 100 block of Washington Street with live music, parties, and good food and drinks, as of early March.

DIGS serves up burgers and other pub fare for lunch and dinner, but with a foodie influence, like the Eisenhower burger, which uses black ale batter, thick-cut bacon, soda-pop barbecue sauce and sharp cheddar cheese, or their poutine, made with house-smoked beef brisket, wild mushroom ragout and Wisconsin cheese curds. The chef is Andrew Sear, known locally for creative menu items and tasty food.

It's open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week and is located at 154 West Washington in Marquette. So far, the reviews seem good, so let us know if you've checked it out!

Writer: Sam Eggleston

Help a movie filmed in the U.P. become reality

This spring brings exciting news for Michigan-made independent films, as the feature film "Nowhere, Michigan" comes out.
Directed by Iron Mountain native Robert Vornkahl, the film was set in a small Upper Peninsula town and shot partially in Iron Mountain and the surrounding area last year. Now, the filmmakers are seeking help with Kickstarter crowdfunding to finish up the post-production work and get a good foundation for distribution and launch onto the festival circuit.

A new trailer for the film is up online from BVB Films, its production company, and teases the story of a young man fleeing from the scene of a murder, ending up as far north as he can get, in the U.P., where he starts to find connections and a new life. It stars Tequan Richmond (General Hospital, Everybody Hates Chris) in the lead role, with Jenna Boyd (The Missing), Christina Scherer (The Intern), Richard Riehle (Office Space), and Ashlie Atkinson (Us & Them).

The Kickstarter has a few more weeks to go and is aiming for a goal of $20,000.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
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