Opa Owner To Launch Retro Burger Joint, New Eateries Coming To Elk Rapids/Acme, More Restaurant/Retail News
The owner of grandpa! Grill & Taproom is opening a second restaurant – a retro burger joint – in its space on Grand Traverse Crossing next week, new restaurants are joining Elk Rapids and Acme, and more businesses are on the move in The Tickers’ latest look at restaurant and retail news .
Dancing donkey burgers
Owner Paul Barbas from Grandpa! Grill & Taproom (pictured) has a food craving for something he thinks Traverse City is lacking: a retro-style burger reminiscent of Detroit pubs and cheap, high-quality food and flat-top – Old school kitchen features. “There were these simple burgers in the 1950s that were just mustard, ketchup, grilled onions, pickles, and an option to add cheese,” he says. “It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s something I’ve been missing.”
Barbas will be bringing this burger to Traverse City early next week when it launches Dancing Donkey Burgers. The restaurant is in Grandpa! Grill & Taproom – which remains fully open and ready for use – with orders that are taken online and either picked up at the roadside or delivered on site via DinnerBell. In addition to the burgers, the restaurant offers french fries (with an optional beer cheese topping), Northwoods lemonades, root beer floats, and cream puff desserts with homemade filling.
According to Barbas, pricing will be a focus of Dancing Donkey Burgers. He wants to move away from the trend of gourmet burgers valued at $ 12-15 and offer an inexpensive alternative. “We reckon with the fact that we’re going to cut the volume … you can get a six-pack burger for $ 12,” he says. “It’s a simple paper bag, wrap the burgers in paper, put the fries in the bag, get your napkins and off you go.” Barbas says the burgers will be somewhere between a slider and a regular restaurant-sized burger.
While the focus is on takeaway orders, Barbas plans to pitch a tent in his parking lot this summer with outdoor seating for both grandpa! and dancing donkey burgers. Because grandpa! With a liquor license, customers can order a beer or other alcoholic beverage and enjoy it outdoors with their burgers. Despite the growing competition in the market – including the newly opened Bergstrom’s Burgers and Oakwood Proper Burgers – Barbas believes there are enough stores to get around. “We wanted to take a different route, to be respectful of them and offer a different option,” he says.
A new grocery and ice cream space will open in Elk Rapids this spring, taking over the Cone Corral space at 115 Ames Street. Jaclyn Reynolds and Scott Newman-Bale plan to open Jac’s Parlor on April 14th, with an emphasis on “ice cream and pizzeria food including pizza, calzones, breadsticks, wings and roasted subs” in a family-friendly environment, according to the couple . Cone Corral owners Joe and Linda Watt will continue this business through March 31st. Then they will close their doors in Elk Rapids and focus on operating their Cone Corral location in Rapids City.
Reynolds and Newman-Bale ran the burger truck at Short’s Brewing Company in Elk Rapids and say they’ll keep driving the truck this summer while also running Jac’s Parlor.
Tiki Pineapple expands to Acme
After opening the first Traverse City location on South Garfield Avenue last summer, Michigan ice cream chain and restaurant Tiki Pineapple plans to expand to the east side of the city. The company is putting the finishing touches on a second location at 5750 US-31 across from Bayside Park in Acme. Tiki Pineapple specializes in a menu with a taste of the tropics with options like fresh wraps, hot sandwiches, jerk chicken, rice and beans, homemade Hawaiian chili, coconut cream cake and smoothies. The company also serves Dole Whip ice cream, including dairy-free, low-fat, gluten-free, vegan, and cholesterol-free options.
Tiki Pineapple is aiming for a grand opening date for the Acme location on March 26th.
In other restaurant and retail news …
More restaurants are coming to downtown Traverse City this spring. Food truck Samurai skewers and Archie’s food truck will return to The coin slot Goes on East Front Street for the season, which opens April 15th. In the Coin Slot building, a new stationary restaurant will be added to the vegan restaurant all year round Radish street food for a total of four local food companies. Archie’s food truck Owner Jon Petrie plans to open Gemini Sandwich Co. in early May, which will serve grilled panini sandwiches, wraps, a handful of other cold dishes, as well as ice cream and smoothies. Scott Pierson, owner of a coin operated machine, plans to add an outdoor bar this summer as well. According to Petrie, the companies are working together to make the Coin Slot property a “destination” for visitors to downtown TC.
Around the corner, West Bay handmade Owners Cat O’Connor and Brad Richardson plan to open a second, smaller store on their East Front Street Ambush pharmacist. The candle company will “showcase our entire pharmacy collection, as well as clothing, accessories and other lifestyle goods,” says O’Connor. The duo are planning to open in mid-April and are also working on gaining another tenant for an over-the-counter space in the store, such as a florist or a baked goods / coffee seller.
ME Men’s Emporium Owner Mike Curths plans to open a sister shop called his wife on Eighth Street with his wife WE Women’s Emporium. Located next to the ME Men’s Emporium in the former Blossom Shop at 1023 East Eighth Street, the store offers vintage and retro clothing, housewares, jewelry, accessories, vintage and contemporary furniture, art, music, and other collectibles. The store is slated to open on April 6th.
Finally, Gardening goods in Traverse City is in new ownership. Retired longtime owners Julie and Gordy Sovereign sold the business at 3510 North US-31 South to Cory and Elise Holman in February. Both families have ties to the Old Mission Peninsula, with the Holmans running Cory’s pumpkin patch on Center Road. The Holmans said in a Facebook post that they are “excited” to take over Garden Goods and also plan to continue operating Cory’s pumpkin patch during the fall season.