YOU COULD CALL it an identity crisis, or just adapting to market conditions.
Either way, the Steinhaus Market is changing its focus again. It’s now going to operate primarily as a deli, selling meats, cheeses, sauces, specialty foods, and grab-n-go meals.
That’s always been part of the business but when we checked several weeks ago, it was transitioning into more of a nighttime venue, featuring music some nights. No more, even though the newly constructed stage and bar remain.
You might also recall that when the Steinhaus Market opened a year ago, it served breakfasts. That was discontinued.
So now it’s back to the deli concept, heavy on German foods which is the specialty of the owners who also operate the Steinhaus, the highly regarded German restaurant downtown.
The good news is the Steinhaus Market will now be open seven days a week (that hadn’t been the case) from 10 am to 6 pm.
MEANTIME, IN MUNISING, Johnny Dogs has no such identity problem.
It remains a phenomenon, both for tourists and locals. Business this summer is nearly double what it was last summer, and it was very good last summer.
The problem for John Flanders, the owner and chief cook, is he can’t find enough help. He has five employees. He could use ten, but most of the area’s young people are employed elsewhere for the summer.
That’s a bit frustrating for Flanders who finds himself working six days a week, sometimes 14 hours a day.
You might remember that Flanders nearly opened up a second restaurant on Third Street in Marquette last year before backing out. Well, he’s still looking for spot to buy in Marquette, though he’s not thrilled with what he considers the city’s stringent regulations on rest rooms, handicapped access, and kitchen facilities.
A TOUGH SUMMER for the Marquette County YMCA.
The latest hit came when the Y announced that it was closing its Early Child Development program on Wright Street. About fifty children were cared for there.
The reason for the shutdown was simple: It was losing $100,000 a year.
The Y says the program will be relocated to the main YMCA facility in Marquette, but it’ll be able to accommodate only 32. Staff will try to help the other parents find other day care facilities.
All of this comes after…
- The ousting of the Y’s previous CEO, Lisa Coombs Gerou, whom the YMCA Board claims mismanaged the agency’s funds
- The last minute decision not to open a child care facility in Ishpeming
- A lawsuit filed by the developer who was partnering with the YMCA at the Ishpeming facility
- A few staff cuts
- An extraordinary emergency audit by the national YMCA
What the YMCA has been left with is a major financial deficit. The precise size of it has not been publicly disclosed yet.
But the Y’s Board is now getting help from some prominent citizens who have experience with the YMCA and finance. They’re coming up with a strategy to help restore the Y to robust financial health.
It’ll take a while. And some cash from the community.
CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES may be closing down its Empire mine in Marquette County this year but a new deal that Cliffs has struck with ArcelorMittal in Minnesota has breathed new life into Cliffs.
What happened was predictable. Essar Steel Minnesota has been struggling to build a taxpayer-subsiized taconite facility that would then sell its products to ArcelorMittal. But from the start, Essar has been plagued by delays and financial and labor problems.
After eight years, the plant is still unfinished, and finally ArcelorMittal said, “Enough. We’ll deal with Cliffs, instead.”
Cliffs in Minnesota, that is.
So there may be some mining jobs available, if you’re willing to pick up stakes and move west.
JUST ONE WORD for the musical, The Producers, at the Lake Superior Theater: Remarkable.
The singing, the dancing, the actors, the comedy, the transitions from one scene to the next. Superb in every way, far exceeding anything you might expect from community theater.
Some experienced theater-goers in Marquette have said it’s the best production they have ever seen in this town. No disagreement here.
Something else that also comes through is the joy in these performances. The actors look like they are having one helluva good time. As a result, the audience does, too. That’s theater at its best.
The Producers continues this week, July 13-17.
SO WHAT’S THE deal with all these young people walking around town focused ever-so-seriously on their cell phones?
No, they’re not making phone calls.
They’re playing the hottest new game, Pokémon GO. Yep, Pokémon. If you’re one of those out-of-touch oldsters who thought Pokémon was some silly little game for eight and nine-year-olds, think again.
The players of Pokémon GO range mostly from fifteen to thirty years old, both female and male.
The game itself is kind of like geo-caching, which is kind of like treasure-hunting. But here you do it with your smartphone which uses GPS and Google Maps. And you wander about trying to collect Pokémon and win battles and take over “gyms.”
Some of the locations attracting the players to them are businesses. Seems like the businesses might want to capitalize on the interest and feature special Pokémon sales.
Now, if all this seems too hopelessly complicated to you, just go out in the back yard and play with your hula hoop or your pogo stick. Or marbles or jacks. Or hopscotch.
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