BIG BOY IS expanding its restaurant.
It’ll be building another room off the back of the main restaurant in the next month or two–enough to handle another 50-60 diners.
Why? Business is good, up about 50% from when it opened 10 years ago. In addition, the closures of Perkins and Bonanza, both up the road on US-41, have brought more value-conscious diners into Big Boy.
The new dining room will cater, in particular, to athletic teams (Seconds! Thirds! More dessert!) and other organizations who want to sit together. It’ll be equipped with audio visual equipment, as well.
Once the expansion is completed, total capacity for Big Boy will be well over 200 diners.
FROM EXPANSION TO…closure.
The Flying Moose’s little cafe in the basement of Peter White Public Library is closing down after four months.
No surprise here. Several talented, ambitious chefs and restaurateurs have tried to make it there, and none has succeeded. Not a big enough crowd, not enough revenue.
Jeremy Poch of the Flying Moose was hoping the cafe would help with marketing, branding, and catering. Maybe it did, but not enough. It was a drain on the profits coming from the Flying Moose itself, on West Washington Street.
Which remains open, thriving, and one of the most charming establishments in downtown Marquette.
IT MIGHT SURPRISE you, but there are still tickets available for the Dancing with Our Stars extravaganza at Forest Roberts Theatre on May 24th. About 150 tickets left in the 500 seat auditorium.
The more expensive May 25th show, complete with a cocktail party, sold out almost immediately.
This is the fifth year for the show and it’s been a remarkable success, almost unprecedented in Marquette County. It netted $30,000 for the UP Hospice Foundation the first year, more than $100,000 last year. Tickets for the show sold out in 25 minutes last year–that was the reason for adding the earlier, less expensive show this year.
Amid all the success, there have been whispers of criticism. From current, former, and would-be dancers, you’ll hear about the pressure–mostly self-imposed–to organize events and raise money. It’s become highly competitive in the last few years. Some are saying the dancing is the easy part; the money is much tougher.
For the non-dancers, there’s the dilemma: Whom to give to? Whose event to attend? If you know several of the dance teams, you feel compelled to give to all of them.
And for other non-profits trying to raise money, there’s concern that DWOS is taking a huge chunk of available donations in the county.
But that just speaks to the extraordinary success of DWOS. They made it one of the social events of the year. Hard to fault them for that. And, as the cliche tells us, it goes for a good cause.
SOME FOLKS ARE wondering, What ever happened to the $150,000 that Marquette won for winning the Hockeyville USA contest last year? The money was to be allocated for improvements at Lakeview Arena.
Well, here’s what happened. About $50,000 of it, along with additional cash from Kraft and the NHL, was spent prior to the Sabres-Hurricanes game last October to make the arena game-ready for two NHL teams. A paint job, a compressor, Zamboni improvements, other mechanical upgrades, safety netting, work on the boards and glass.
The other $100,000 or so hasn’t been spent yet. The city’s going to hire a consultant to identify the priorities at Lakeview, then maybe try to find a matching grant to maximize the benefits of the award.
The whole process could take a couple of years, but city officials say they want to spend the money wisely, for maximum effect. Lakeview Arena, with all the events it hosts, is a major economic driver in the city.
NATIONAL ACCLAIM FOR Marquette keeps pouring in. The latest from BuzzFeed, the popular news and entertainment website.
BuzzFeed recently identified the “38 Most Beautiful Places in America.” (Highly scientific, of course)
Marquette was listed as #34. Others listed? Point Lobos, California was #1. Pentwater, Michigan was #13. Sleeping Bear Dunes was #27. Savannah, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Naples, Florida were some of the others.
About Marquette, a BuzzFeed contributor writes, “The cold weather just adds to the feeling of peace when you look out onto Lake Superior…The downtown area makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside…It’s such a classic downtown, little shops and restaurants…It is one of the best cities on Earth…”
SPEAKING OF ACCLAIM, how about this from the website, Best Things Michigan?
The Zephyr, open for only about a half year, was named the 9th best wine bar in the state. (Again, we’re certain that highly scientific metrics were used in the polling).
Still, it’s a pretty big deal for the folks who’ve also brought us Everyday Wines.
Quoting Best Things Michigan: “Zephyr is out to be a match for most any wine bar around, and proves it with an array of artisan meats and cheeses from a Nostrano to a four year old Gouda. Throw in a private meeting space in the bar’s cellar–complete with a look at all the great bottles–and the end result is a wine bar on par with most any other.”
Uhhh, if you don’t know what “a Nostrano” is, you’re not alone. But let’s just nod our head and pretend we do.
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