Letters

Letters 09-01-2014

Hamas Shares Some Blame

Even when I disagree with Mr. Tuttle, I always credit him with a degree of fairness. Unfortunately, in his piece regarding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict he falls well short of offering any insights that might advance his readers’ understanding of the conflict...

The True Northport

I was disappointed by your piece on Northport. While I agree that the sewer system had a big impact on the village, I don’t agree with your “power of retirees” position. I see that I am thrown in with the group of new businesses started by “well-off retirees” and I feel that I have been thoroughly misrepresented, as has the village...

Conservatives and Obamacare

What is it about Obamacare that sends conservatives over the edge? There are some obvious answers...

Republican Times

I read the letter from Don Turner of Beulah and it seems he lives in that magical part of the Fox News Universe where no matter how many offices the Republican Party controls they are not responsible for anything bad that happens...

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Willie‘s Rear

Dining Al Parker The View from Willie’s Rear
By Al Parker
Jim Rowland was a just a kid in junior high school down in Clawson
when he began dreaming about owning his own restaurant.
And in 1989, the first time he strolled into the unassuming little
diner on South Airport Road between Barlow and Garfield Roads, he had
a vision. “It was just how I imagined it,” says the outgoing Rowland.
“It was my dream restaurant.”
 
Monday, August 30, 2010

Willow Mercantile

Dining Al Parker Willow Mercantile brings farm-fresh foods to Cadillac
By Al Parker
A pair of energetic entrepreneurs have taken a shabby location on Cadillac’s South Mitchell Street and turned it into a bustling produce and specialty market that lures shoppers from across the region with its fresh produce, extensive roster of Michigan products and on-site greenhouse.
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

Da Dawg House

Dining Al Parker Da Dawg House offers Dining in a Dog Dish
By Al Parker
It’s a mid-summer, mid-morning in Cadillac, a time when a lot of
breakfast joints are starting to slow down a bit after the breakfast
rush.
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

Chez Peres

Dining Al Parker Chez Peres offers French comfort food
By Al Parker
French cuisine often conjures up images of white linen tables, a pretentious maitre d and entrees smothered in thick, creamy, calorie-laden sauces.
Kick those concepts to the Lake Avenue curb when you visit Traverse City’s newest French bistro, Chez Peres.
“Our food is elegant, but very much down to Earth,” says chef Keil Moshier.
 
Monday, July 26, 2010

Soul Hole

Dining Al Parker Soul Hole Serves Up Southern Comfort
By Al Parker
If you leave Traverse City’s Old Town tourists strolling along Union
Street and step into The Soul Hole, it’s easy to imagine that you’re
actually sliding into a cozy eatery in Baton Rouge, Mobile or Biloxi.
The warm paprika-colored ambience, cool jazz/blues sounds and
down-home Southern soul food make the place a welcome change from
national chain food choices.
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Park Place Cafe

Dining Al Parker Cadillac’s Park Place Café offers star power on a shoestring
By Al Parker
So you’re getting ready to launch a new eatery and there are certain
essentials you need to open the doors, right?
Gotta’ have a stove or large tabletop grill, of course. Maybe a deep
fryer and spacious oven too.
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

The Dockside delivers

Dining Al Parker The Dockside Delivers: Torch Lake destination offers dining and good times
By Al Parker
It’s 10 a.m. on a sunny May morning, the kind they call “a Dockside day” at the popular restaurant that has been a fixture on Torch Lake’s eastern shore for more than a century.
The crystalline waters of the lake are amazingly calm, the air cool and fresh with the promise of a gorgeous spring day.
Owner Gordy Schafer greets three new employees with a question. “What’s the first thing we asked you when you applied here?” he asks.
“What’s your GPA,” the three young women answer in unison.
 
Monday, February 22, 2010

Your tummy is sure to growl at The Bear‘s Den

Dining Al Parker Your tummy is sure to growl at the Bear’s Den
By Al Parker
Stroll into the Bear’s Den Pizzeria and you’re immediately surrounded by the aura of the legendary hunter and businessman to whom the restaurant pays homage.
Images of that craggy, wide smile, basset hound eyes and rakishly tilted battered Borsolino hat mean that the spirit of Fred Bear is alive and well in downtown Grayling.
“I hunted with a Fred Bear bow at 13, “recalls Bill Gannon, owner of the restaurant. “My Dad started me out on that and I’ve been a hunter ever since.”
Gannon’s father was a conservation officer and a friend of Bear’s. “Every story you hear about Fred Bear is about how he was a very kind person,” says Gannon. “He was just a real down-to-earth, nice guy. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a negative thing about him.”
That respect for Bear led Gannon to open the pizzeria a few years ago and display his huge collection of Bear memorabilia that he had collected over the decades. Several large framed Bear Archery advertisements line the walls and some 40 Bear bows and dozens of arrows are on display.
 
Monday, February 1, 2010

Folgarelli‘s

Dining Al Parker When you’ve been voted the No. 1 sandwich maker in Traverse City for
eight years, you might get a little complacent.
But Donna Folgarelli is as energetic, optimistic and excited as if
she’s opening the doors on a spanking new business instead of
operating a TC landmark that has been dishing up delicious eats for
more than three decades.
 
Monday, December 21, 2009

Trout Town Country Cafe

Dining Al Parker Fishing for Comfort at the
Trout Town Country Café
By Al Parker
It’s mid-morning, mid-week in mid-November and the Trout Town Country
Café is jammed with a combination of lingering regulars and hungry
deer hunters swapping tales, telling jokes and savoring a hot cup of
coffee.
 
Monday, November 23, 2009

A ‘Green‘ oil change alternative

Features Al Parker Pretty Slick:
a ‘green’ oil change alternative
By Al Parker
When Doug Brown wheeled his family car into Cherry Capital Cadillac Subaru for an oil change he didn’t plan on making an environmental statement.
But that’s what the Munson Medical Center retiree did last month when he became one of the dealership’s first customers to opt for the green alternative of using re-refined oil.
“It works great and if it helps reduce the amount of oil we need to import, why not do it?” says Brown.
 
Monday, November 16, 2009

Reflects Bistro

Dining Al Parker “We‘ve been definitely well received,“ says a smiling Jack Buist
as he pours a glass of Cambria Chardonnay and offers it to a visitor.
Buist is the general manager of Traverse City’s newest hotel, Cambria Suites, which opened in June. It recently hosted a grand opening that attracted some 400 visitors in three hours.
“It was really great that so many people stopped in to check us out,” says Buist, an Allegan native who’s been working in the Traverse City area hospitality scene for more than 25 years.
One of the new hotel’s most popular attractions is Reflect, a cozy and comfortable dining area done in earthy patterns of tan, brown and crimson. There’s seating for nine at the counter/bar area and ample room for dozens more at nearby tables. Assistant general manager Colleen Whittaker oversees the bistro’s staff of 12.
 
Monday, November 2, 2009

Spud burger/ Railside Bar & Grill

Dining Al Parker Spud Burger!
Railside Bar & Grill serves it up in Elmira

By Al Parker 11/2/09

“You’re about to enjoy a rite of passage,” says smiling day shift bartender Chris King as he deftly slides a full platter and an ice cold Labatt’s across the table toward a guest.
Like a gaudy oversized jewel nestled in a crown, Michigan’s original potato burger dominates the dish at the Railside Bar & Grill. There’s a side order of hand-cut home fries, but the potato burger is the star of the menu at the Railside, formerly the Elmira Inn.
“It’s a blend of black Angus beef, cheddar cheese, some special spices and grated Kitchen Farms potatoes,” explains chef Randy Troy, an affable culinary veteran who’s well known in the Northern Michigan restaurant scene.
About four years ago, Bob Huppert and Larry Beurkens bought the slightly ramshackle Elmira Inn and sank a lot of cash and sweat equity into it, expanding the kitchen, redoing the rest rooms and updating the furniture.
Huddled right along the railroad tracks, the place had seen its better days, but the new owners worked hard to change its image from a smoky, aging bar into a clean family-friendly eatery. It’s no longer a bar that serves food, but a restaurant that offers drinks.
 
Monday, November 2, 2009

Diamonds sparkle for gemologist Nesrine Hamati

Features Al Parker Diamonds Sparkle
for Gemologist Nesrine Hamati

By Al Parker 11/2/09

Nesrine Hamati, owner of Diamond Galleria, the elegant new jewelry store at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, remembers clearly when she first broke into the jewelry game.
“I was nine years old and my dad used to take me on the floor of his shop,” recalls the 27-year-old entrepreneur with a smile. “I’ve had a passion for the business ever since.”
For many years her family has operated several MJ Diamonds stores across the Detroit area. Born in Lebanon, she was a three-year-old when her family came to the U.S. in 1985. She’s one of four daughters and the only one to follow in the family business.
 
Monday, October 26, 2009

New Trend: Pet Funerals

Features Al Parker New Trend: Pet Funerals
Grieving owners seek fond farewells at
Great Lakes Pet Memorial and Crematory

By Al Parker 10/26/09

The inspiration for Kerri Collier’s business came while visiting her grandfather in Florida.
“He had lost his beloved Shih Tzu, Susie, who died and it was really hard on him,” she remembers. “He created a memorial shrine to Susie that contained her collar, some of her toys and other items. I thought other pet owners might want to do the same.”
So early in 2008, Traverse City native Collier and her husband, Dustin, opened Great Lakes Pet Memorial and Crematory to serve pet owners who have lost a much-loved member of their family. From its building located south of Chum’s Corner, the company serves grieving pet owners from Ludington to Cheboygan.
 
 
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