THE RUMORS THAT have been circulating about the Wild Rover for the last week or two are true.
It’s been sold, though it’s not a done deal yet.
The buyers? The Double Trouble guys, Pat and Bill Digneit, and their partner, Alyssa Pilot, from Iron Mountain. Double Trouble is based in Marquette and downstate in Royal Oak, and for the last 12 years have been providing entertainment–including DJ services, live music, karaoke, trivia contests, even beer pong–for special events, festivals, weddings, fundraisers, night clubs and such.
They’ve earned a solid reputation.
So why a switch now to a permanent venue? They think they can provide something that Marquette needs–a “unique vibe” is how they put it. Something that’s not being offered by other bars and restaurants in town.
You want a more specific explanation? Well, you’re not gonna get it. Not now. The deal’s not finalized yet. The Digneits and Pilot hope to take over the Rover by late summer, early fall.
And yes, the name will change. No hints what it’ll be.
The Rover’s been floundering the last few years. Management’s changed, the hours have changed, the menu has changed, the overall feel of the place has changed. It’s got a following but it needs a rebooting.
It boasts a great location in the heart of downtown. Other restaurateurs looked longingly at the Rover but balked at the price and the condition of the building. Still looks great to the average customer.
Kind of a similar story to L’Attitude and the Upfront. Great spaces, great locations, but…something has been missing. Focus? Branding? Consistency? Great service and food?
Take your pick.
The three partners–if the deal does go through, as expected–will be facing a serious challenge. The restaurant and bar scene in Marquette is remarkably robust, competitive, and varied for a town of only 21,000.
The Wild Rover, by the way, remains open during the transition over the next few months.
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