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

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