ONE OF THE Upper Peninsula’s most popular restaurants is down for the summer.
Johnny Dogs in Munising.
John Flanders, the founder, owner, and chef, suffered a heart attack several weeks back, underwent surgery, and is now recuperating. He’ll need some time–the restaurant’s Facebook site says it’ll be closed for a few months.
Flanders has good and loyal employees but he’s clearly irreplaceable as the hard-working and creative chef.
A shame. The menu features a remarkable assortment of hot dogs, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, soups. And “piggy fries!” And a mac & cheese egg roll.
The worst of it? Summer is when the tourists flood the town and patiently line up at Johnny Dogs for their treats. That’s when the profits are made.
No, actually the worst of it? John’s health. Get better, young man.
THE OTHER BIG news in Munising?
Developer Tom Dolaskie and his wife Ana, who are local, and Dolaskie’s out-of-state partner Darrin Hubbard have bought a couple of radio stations–WQXO AM/FM in Munising, and 92.7 WRPP in Manistique.
The formats will stay the same–good time oldies at WQXO and classic rock at WRPP. Former sports show host Casey Ford, who’s been selling cars in recent years, will return to radio and take over as the new general manager. Ford, by the way, is Dolaskie’s brother in law.
Now, here’s the interesting part: Ford and Ana Dolaskie, a former reporter and anchor on TV6, will likely be co-hosting a morning talk show on WQXO. With a newly constructed studio right there in town, next to the soon-to-be-opened Gallery Coffee Shop, also owned by Dolaskie and Hubbard. The focus will be local issues, people, and events. Munising and the central UP will be the stars.
Ana Dolaskie and Casey Ford are planning to co-host a new radio show in Munising.
“Radio is extremely important to a small town if it’s done right,” Tom Dolaskie says. “It’s up to us to do it right, and we think the local businesses will support us.”
The station acquisitions are just the latest move for Dolaskie and Hubbard who own several businesses in town–including the Roam Inn and the acclaimed Tracey’s restaurant. They have been the prime movers in the revival of downtown Munising.
SOMETHING NEW AT Digs, the popular gastro pub in downtown Marquette.
Actually, it’s on top of Digs.
A roof garden filled with hot peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, herbs, chard, tomatoes, and more. All for use and consumption in the restaurant downstairs.
Co-owner Alyssa Digneit concedes they may have started the garden a little late this summer but, nevertheless, it’s producing.
“We just have to do it,” she says. “It’s a great space with lots of sunlight, and it’s a green space.” Good for the environment.
And food can’t get much more local than that–from rooftop to your plate in hours, even minutes.