That’s how much notice Dunham’s Sports employees were given on Tuesday morning. They were told the store would be closing down on Saturday.
It was a lease problem, one of the employees said.
Big sales the rest of the week? Maybe a few, but you won’t find “Everything Must Go!!” signs. Dunham’s plans to move its merchandise to other stores.
So what’s next for the Marquette Mall? Come to think of it, can you really call it a mall anymore?
THE FUNDING’S IN place, the architectural drawings have been rendered, and now it’s just a matter of a couple more months before the Delft Bistro–Marquette’s new dinner theater–starts taking shape.
That’s when construction will begin to transform the old, defunct Delft Theater downtown into a unique 250 seat restaurant/theater/bar.
The movies won’t be first-run; more like classics. And no, not everybody will be watching the movie. Some will just be eating dinner or having drinks.
It’ll be family-friendly and date night-friendly. It’ll be a great space for banquets and special events.
Two floors of dining, and a top floor terrace just for drinks.
The walkway bridge over Jackson Cut in the back? That’ll become a dining and drinking area mostly glassed in with windows.
The marquee in front? It’ll be retained but spiffed up and lit up. A tribute to the past.
Ask owner Tom Vear whether he and his wife and partner, Jen Ray, have a model–in another town, for example–for their project here, and he just smiles and laughs and says, no, not really. They just want to create something special in Marquette.
Their remarkable revival of Donckers next door suggests they’ll succeed.
They hope to open the Delft Bistro late this year.
DON’T BELIEVE THE official denials that the County Road Commission is considering suing the Environmental Protection Agency over the EPA’s rejection of County Road 595.
Talks have been taking place.
They’ve been closed-door, unofficial and without a quorum. They’ve involved some commission members, some private parties who might fund the suit, and politicians who would support a lawsuit against the EPA.
They all still believe that CR 595, a 22 mile long road from near Big Bay down to US 41 near the old Humboldt mine, should be built. It would take much of the truck traffic away from Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming.
The EPA rejected the route because it would impinge on wetlands.
Jim Iwanicki, the engineer-manager of the road commission, would love to see 595 built, but says it’s up to the road commissioners as to whether they’ll follow through with the suit.
There’s apparently some resistance by some county commissioners to the potential lawsuit, but the feeling is that virtually everybody else–city and county officials and the business community–wants the road built.
The environmentalists? No. They view 595, much like the Lundin mine, as a further violation of the UP’s irreplaceable wilderness.
Still unanswered is who exactly, in the business-industrial community, would be providing money for the lawsuit.
TV VIEWING HABITS are tough to break.
The latest evidence comes in the November Nielsen ratings for the Marquette market.
For the 6 pm news, TV6 garnered a 62% share of the households. Local 3 (WJMN) took 3%, and ABC 10 (WBUP), in its 5:30 pm slot, scored a 13% share.
At 11 pm, TV6 had a 42% share, Local 3 had a 4% share, and ABC10 had 2%.
Gotta be frustrating for Local 3 in particular because they entered the TV news fray last year with higher hopes, and they produce attractive, informative newscasts with good production values.
Their anchors, Cynthia Thompson and Gabe Caggiano, are experienced and credible.
ABC10, “the little engine that could,” continues to chug along, understaffed and underfunded. It, too, puts on solid newscasts, occasionally with exclusive stories.
And yet the bulk of UP viewers still turn to TV6 as they have for the last half century.
It’s tough to topple the king of the mountain. Hell, it’s tough to even nudge him.
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING to the Upper Peninsula Medical Center now that it lost its bid to get the hospital to move to its site?
First, a number of the doctors–the specialists in particular–will be moving out, over to the new hospital complex when it’s built.
The family practice doctors, the internists and the pediatricians, on the other hand, will mostly be staying put.
Also planned for the Med Center is a larger sports medicine complex. Details uncertain. Many have suggested that Marquette, with its four seasons of sports, could become a hub for sports medicine. A complex at the Med Center certainly reinforces that idea.
Even so, there’ll be some vacant offices at the Med Center when the specialists leave. Those will likely be filled by other professionals–insurance companies and the like.
POTENTIALLY STEEP UTILITY rate increases for UP utility customers have now been postponed from January 1st until March 1st.
That’s good news.
Even better news is that the Governor’s office, in particular, as well as the Attorney General and the Public Service Commission, are leaning heavily on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to make sure the UP doesn’t get slammed with exorbitant rate hikes.
Early on, it appeared those rate hikes would be imposed to subsidize the costly and outdated Presque Isle Power Plant.
Now, thanks to UP legislators and their allies in Lansing, it looks like that won’t happen.
Even better, all sides are focusing intently on getting new, more efficient power plants up here so that we can become more energy-independent. At least two sites are now considered prime candidates for power plants.
ROOT 41, THE cozy little diner south of Marquette on US 41, got good news about ten days ago.
A liquor license. Woohoo.
Drinks are now being served.
Root 41 has been open for six months now and is beginning to experience the unavoidable doldrums of a UP winter, but fortunately, about 80% of the customers are local. A lot of us like to get out of the house for a bite to eat even when it’s ten degrees and snowing.
The Tullila sisters, who own the place, have shrunk the menu a bit but offer daily and weekly specials, along with a Sunday brunch, a Friday fish fry and an all-day breakfast.
Now, at last, you can wash down your eggs and cudighi with an ice cold beer.
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