CHANGES, CHANGES EVERYWHERE. People moving in, people moving out. Rumors swirling about.
Let’s start with The Preserve. It’s the brainchild and business of the young men pictured above–Devin Mahoney, Tim Piirala, and Jeremy Johnson.
All three of them locals, none of them older than 30.
They’re moving into the space just vacated by the Flying Moose on West Washington. What’ll they offer? A deli, with sandwiches, soups, and other lunches (including the Moose’s popular Buddha Bowls) for folks downtown. A substantial wine and beer selection. And some foods–like cheese and salami–to take home or out on the trail.
Especially significant, they say, is that they’ll be staying open late–maybe until 2 am–on the weekends. They say currently there are very few options for night owls who have the munchies. They aim to fill that void.
They’re working hard to refashion the store, and hope to get it open, probably with limited offerings, within a couple of weeks.
SO WHAT HAPPENED to the Flying Moose, the much beloved little general store? Why’d it close?
Owner Jeremy Poch said the the store was making it financially, but his family life was suffering.
“I have two kids that I never saw, and my wife and I hardly talked to each other until nine or ten at night,” he explains. “We needed a break.”
What’s next for them? They own 10 acres on the McClure Basin where they live. The property also includes a chapel which they’ll turn into a wedding venue, and a house which will become a short term rental.
And Poch will become more of a full-time dad. Good for him.
YA GOTTA LOVE what’s happening at Babycakes.
Yeah, it’s being painted a bright red, which makes it pop, but it’s who’s doing the paint job that makes this a story. The owners themselves, John and Darci Scheidt, are climbing the ladders and slapping on the paint.
They’re getting their fingernails, and their arms…and their faces…dirty.
They originally asked for bids on the job and were told it would be several thousand dollars, so they decided, “What they heck? Let’s do it ourselves and save a few bucks.”
Darci scolds John from time to time. He’s sloppier, drips more paint. He just smiles and moves on.
Next up for Babycakes: outside lanterns and a balcony (a la New Orleans), and new display cases inside.
WELL, THAT DIDN’T last long.
Advanced Chiropractic, which set up shop in the old NeuroTrainer space on Washington Street several months back, is gone. Moved out.
Originally it was billed as a chiropractic shop that would utilize some of NeuroTrainer’s technology.
Apparently that didn’t work out.
As for Jeff Nyquist, the entrepreneur who founded NeuroTrainer, he’s relocated to San Francisco where the company is now headquartered.
FROM PASTRIES TO insurance.
That’s the story at the old Gophers pastry shop location.
The Huber Agency has moved in, offering Farm Bureau Insurance. They relocated from their old office on Commerce Drive. More exposure downtown. A little more excitement. A few more dining venues for the employees.
Insurance ain’t exciting but we need it. And it pays the bills.
SPEAKING OF EXCITEMENT, how about the Upfront!
The For Sale sign has come down, and workers are coming in and going out. Clearly, there’s a new owner, a new business, a new…..uhh…no.
Realtor Dan Keller says the workers are just taking care of routine maintenance–sprinklers, the elevator and such–and they’ve put on a new roof.
As for the sign coming down, Keller says the owner just thought it had been up there too long. It was getting old and stale, wasn’t attracting any new buyers.
The Upfront building remains on the MLS, and it’s also listed in national realty publications.
Listing price remains $3.7 million. They’ll wait for the heavy hitters to come in, Keller says, as Marquette continues to grow. In the meantime, he says, the dozen or so offices and retail shops in the building pay the monthly bills, even while the restaurant, bar, and banquet room remain empty.
SOMETHING BIG COULD be on the horizon for Marquette.
It’s called a cyber security hub. There are already a few of them set up downstate–providing training for workers who want to get involved in the cyber security industry. These are the guys and gals fighting hacking and theft on the internet. Huge problem, and it’s getting worse.
Anyway, Marquette’s putting in a bid with the Michigan’s Merit Network to set up a hub for training here, at NMU and Marquette Senior High School. Also involved are Invent@NMU and MEDC.
Keith Glendon, who handles security for IBM while living in Marquette, is a big booster of the project.
“I deal with this problem (hacking) every day,” he says. “This is a great opportunity to develop jobs here in the UP that aren’t just in manufacturing or extraction.”
He says there’s an estimated two million unfilled jobs in cyber security in the U.S. Unfilled. Well-paying. And they don’t require a four year degree.
If things go well and the hub is approved, classes at NMU and MSHS could be set up within a year.
WOMAN AGAINST BEAST.
That’s the story Elizabeth Peterson tells you. She’s the sales manager for NMU’s Simply Superior Catering and Events. Last weekend, she spent three days and three nights backpacking, solo, in the Porcupine Mountains. Thirty miles covered. Alone.
It was just something she had to do. Be alone. Calm herself. Challenge herself. Face her fears.
Which she confronted on her very first day of hiking. A bear.
“I was coming down a hill,” she says, “and there he was staring at me. I just froze. I didn’t know what to do. It felt like we were staring at each other for two minutes, it was probably more like five seconds. And then he turned around and ran away.
“And then I turned and ran the other way as fast as I could, stumbling through rocks and mud and over tree branches with my 35 pound pack on my back. And then I finally stopped when I was out of breath, and I sat there wondering if I should just give up the hike and go back to my car. I felt ridiculous.”
She didn’t give up. She trudged on, came to Government Peak, and sat down for a rest. Suddenly a hummingbird appeared before her, hovering for the longest time and staring at her before finally flying off. “I felt like he was giving me a high-five for not turning back,” she says.
And then later she set up camp for the night, started her fire, and finally sat down to relax for dinner, and who showed up? A hummingbird–maybe the same one, maybe not–hovering, staring at her, before finally flying off again. She slept well that night.
The next day, another bear crossed her path. He ran off. She hiked on. Thirty miles alone in the wilderness.
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