ANOTHER OPTION FOR Marquette coffee lovers.
Allenatore (Italian for “coach”), a European style coffee shop, opened its doors this week on Third Street, three doors south of Vango’s.
Very different from the other new coffee shops. If Contrast has a bright, spacious, industrial look and Velodrome has a hip, minimalist feel, Allenatore has the atmosphere of a warm, mellow living room. Dim lighting. Soft chairs and a couch. Paul Simon, Bill Withers, French balladeers, even Perry Como on the stereo.
The coffee? Plenty of choices. And they come with a complimentary bottle of water. Crepes? Huge, delicious.
Is there room for yet another coffee shop in town? We’ll see.
JOHNNY DOGS FANS are going through withdrawal.
The famed Munising hot dog restaurant, written up in the New York Times last summer, has closed its shop on Lynn Street while it prepares to move to its new location about four blocks away on Superior Street.
Construction is still underway. Owner John Flanders hopes to reopen in what was formerly a Chinese restaurant by March 1st.
It’ll be a major expansion. Fifty seats inside, another 80 outside on a deck.
Hard to believe, but Johnny Dogs has been around for nine years now.
MEANTIME, PLANS BY Mike Walker to permanently park his Dia de los Tacos truck and set up a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in downtown Marquette have been put on hold.
Walker had been hoping to move into the vacant building next to Getz’s on Front Street, but things didn’t work out.
Costs were going to be higher than he had anticipated, and one thing he doesn’t want to do is overspend.
So he remains in the ever popular truck, and still hunting for a location where he can finally settle down and set up shop.
WE SOMETIMES GET the impression that downtown Marquette is a hot commercial market.
Everybody wants to come here, right? Buy lots of property. Make lots of money.
Then this question: Why do we have three buildings, all in a row in the heart of downtown–the Casselman law offices, Recovery Room, and Book World–all up for sale right now?
And so far, nobody swooping in to buy them.
Maybe it’ll happen tomorrow (we can hope), or maybe the market isn’t quite as robust as we like to think it is.
PROMISING NEWS OUT of the UP Health System Marquette. No, not the nurses’ contract talks. Those remain stalled.
But we’ve learned that this month the hospital has taken on 17 new nurses. This, according to union negotiator Scott Balko. The nurses are currently going through orientation.
It’s noteworthy because normally, we’re told, only 5-6 new nurses go through orientation monthly. So maybe recruiting’s picked up.
That’s particularly significant because one of the primary issues in the contract talks is that the nursing staff is too small and as a result, the nurses are forced to work excessive overtime.
Maybe these 17 newcomers will start easing the burden.
THERE’S STILL VACANCY at the Grandview Marquette. Actually 15-20 vacancies.
The former Orphanage, now renovated and re-purposed for low and middle income housing, started taking in residents about six weeks ago.
There are still 1,2, and 3 bedroom units available.
Amy Lerlie, the executive director of Community Action Alger Marquette, which operates the Grandview, says she expects it may take six months for all the apartments to be occupied.
THIS IS WHEN you know you’ve arrived as an arts-loving community: When you start offering “Marquette Creative Residencies” to out-of-state artists.
Yep, if you’re a creative type–writer, potter, graphic designer, code writer, whatever–and you’ve got a decent-looking resume, you can come to Marquette for three months, rent-free, with a food stipend, as well.
And your house will be right on Lakeshore Boulevard, two minutes from McCarty’s Cove, and a pleasant ten minute walk from downtown Marquette.
But wait. It’s actually residencies for three “creatives” (that’s the preferred term). You’ll all be staying in the three bedroom house, at the same time, March through May. So you’ll have to get along, even if your fellow creative geniuses are pains-in-the-ass.
One further caveat: You’ve got only until February 2nd to get your application in.
And a repeated caveat: Out-of-staters only. The hope is that the artists, through social media, will start spreading the word around the nation about Marquette as an artists’ haven.
Money for the program comes from the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, which is also helping to fund Ampersand.
THE MARQUETTE SYMPHONY Orchestra is engaged in some self-analysis.
Namely, how to spread the word about the orchestra, how to generate more excitement about it, how to put more butts in the seats.
The MSO invited about a dozen outsiders in for drinks, appetizers and suggestions this week, hoping to come up with a strategy.
Among the suggestions: 1) Make the music more current maybe involving local singer-songwriters 2) Involve young people and young musicians more 3) Offer up multimedia shows 4) Consider alternating the venue for concerts 5) Try cute gimmicks, like offering amateurs the opportunity to conduct 6) Better utilize social media, to get the word out.
Plenty of other suggestions as well which the MSO will now consider.
Something to keep in mind. Very few towns this size around the country even have a symphony orchestra, much less a successful one.
EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT the “Dancing with Our Stars Marquette County Style,” put on by UP Home Health and Hospice. It’s become one of the social events of the year in Marquette.
Lesser known is the Lip Sync Battle, sponsored by Lake Superior Hospice which boasts that it’s the only nonprofit hospice in Marquette County.
It’s coming up Friday night at the Masonic Square downtown. The third annual battle. The first two have been uproariously fun and funny. People you know putting on a show. Maybe making fools of themselves, maybe wowing you with their talent.
But it’ll be a helluva good time. And yeah, it’ll be helping out some of your neighbors who really need the help.
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