Modern Hen, Fresh Coast Beer Works Opening Downtown; More Restaurant, Retail News
Modern Bird is planning a new restaurant in a historic building on West Front Street. Fresh Coast Beer Works and Ubrew are coming to Park Street. West Bay Beach plans to launch its Delamar hotel brand and new waterfront Artisan restaurant in May – and more companies are on the move in The Ticker’s latest take on restaurant and retail news.
After two years of selling baked goods at the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market and the occasional pop-up, Andy Elliott and Emily Stewart have secured their first stationary location for themselves Modern bird at 541 West Front Street next to Mary’s Kitchen Harbor (pictured).
Elliott and Stewart have started renovating the historic building, which was bought by an investment group earlier this year and rented to the couple, to open a 36-seat restaurant, full bar and open kitchen by the end of 2021 for longer-term options Plans could include converting the upper floor into a private dining room. “It’s going to be kind of a 9 am to 9 pm place with breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” says Elliott. “It’ll be good casual when a lot of local and Michigan products are used. We will have craft cocktails with many local distilleries, a full wine program. We are very into natural wines, that will probably be something special. “City commissioners are asked to sign the application for a license for the new facility at their meeting today at 7pm (Monday).
Many of the items that made Modern Bird popular at the farmer’s market – where Elliott and Stewart will resell their wares this summer while they upgrade the restaurant – are also on display at the brick and mortar facility, including their breads. Desserts and baked goods. The duo brought 10 years of cooking and baking experience from Chicago when they moved to Traverse City in 2018 – Stewart has family ties to the area – and wanted to spend time learning the market before opening a new restaurant. “One of the reasons we ran the farmers market was because we didn’t just want to come into the community and open something right away and have no idea what we were doing,” says Elliott. “This is a really cool place … it will be very neighborhood oriented.”
Also on the agenda of the city commission this evening is an application for the return of a license for the planned new brewery and restaurant Loco Boys Brewing Company at 901 West Front Street (the former Impres Salon Spa building). Chris and Mike Mohrhardt’s application was filed last month due to noise and parking issues, but applicants have since addressed those issues, according to city officials. Urban Planning Director Shawn Winter says a park compromise has been reached that will allow interior renovations and decking to begin with a reduced capacity of 175 instead of the originally planned 250+. The final capacity can be adjusted up or down depending on the final number of parking spaces. Applicants are also placing the terrace outside of the nearby apartment buildings and are working on screening options to reduce visual and noise pollution.
Chuck Green and Aaron Spangler are also planning to open in downtown Traverse City in late May Fresh Coast Beer Works and Ubrew Homebrew Supply on 120 Park Street. The partners are moving the businesses from their previous location on Cass Road and offering a taproom and homebrew supply story in the heart of downtown. “The brewery itself will be bigger – we have a new system five times the size of the old location,” Green estimates the building capacity at 120. “We intend to have six beers on tap at the time and another six that are seasonal or are experimental. “The taproom offers indoor and outdoor seating with scheduled opening times from Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 10pm and from Friday to Saturday from 11am to 12pm.
Around the corner on 332 East Front, National Franchise The big salad plans a summer opening for its first location in Traverse City. The company specializes in using the absolute freshest ingredients for its menu of salads, sandwiches, soups and smoothies. The restaurant will take up half the space that was previously used by Yen Yoga & Fitness. The other half will open a new Harley Davidson retail store, which is slated to open in May.
West Bay Beach / Delamar Traverse City
West Bay Beach is preparing for the relaunch as Delamar Traverse City in May – a transition two years in the making. As part of the rebranding, the hotel will introduce its new waterfront restaurant at 615 East Front Street Craftsman Next month a “chef-run restaurant from the farm to the table right on the bay, which will be like no other restaurant in Traverse City,” says hotel general manager Michael Scandariato. Rick Wahlstedt, who has overseen restaurants in Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta, is a partner on the project. According to Scandariato, Artisan will have a dining room in the tavern as well as an outdoor bar area and a dining terrace on the water. Artisan will only be offering dinner at the beginning, with future plans to expand into lunch and brunch. Meanwhile, when West Bay Beach finishes its poolside winter igloo program, the hotel will launch new poolside cabanas this Thursday, lounge-style with drinks and live entertainment. The pop-up happy hour concept applies from Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm to 9pm until the end of May.
More news from the region …
Kingsley Flowers & Gifts will move to an expanded space at 104 South Brownson Avenue on May 1st. Co-owner Karla Blackmer says she and her husband bought the building and are renting it out to her florist. “With the space much larger, we’re hoping to add more gifts, houseplants, and seasonal items like annuals, hanging baskets, and decor for the home and garden,” says Blackmer, adding that workshops are also on the horizon.
Marisa Farr is planning a launch in May for TC Picnic Company, a “Premium Pop-up Picnic Experience” that offers customizable luxury picnic settings for groups of 2 to 20 people. Farr delivers and sets up the picnic experience – such as pillows, tables, linens, candles, cutlery, and decor – and takes it all away at the end. Farr has partnered with Mari Vineyards to host picnics at the winery and works with caterers like Fuel Your Tomorrow for private events (guests otherwise provide their own food and drink). According to Farr, the pop-up picnic is popular in places like California, Florida, and Texas, but it’s relatively new in Michigan. With people looking for safer ways to have small gatherings in the pandemic, Farr says the company is already busy booking bachelorette parties, baby showers, and summer proposals.
Oryana West is preparing to open a new coffee bar in the center of the store serving locally roasted coffee and espresso, tea drinks, kombucha from Cultured Ferments and local craft beer to take away. The bar is due to open in the first week of May. According to General Manager Steve Nance, Oryana is not yet making “Sip & Stroll” – a staple of the former Lucky’s – due to COVID and strict requirements for face covering, but can refill clean howlers and growlers for customers. Oryana also plans to convert the old cafe and common room into a larger common room, as well as a classroom and kitchen, later this year.
Finally after running City bike shop Steve and Julie Baesch have been in Traverse City for over 30 years and sold the business to new owners, Hunter Gardner. “It was a long and serious process, but after a lot of hard work and communication the place is in new hands and we hope the right hands to continue the tradition of high standards and fun that the Baeschs have set for over thirty years Years, ”wrote the management in a post on the company’s website. According to the Post, technical upgrades are already underway to modernize business operations and communications.