September 23, 2023

Craig Manning | Author

After Years of Bad Customer Behavior, Are Things Finally Getting Better for Local Restaurants and Bars?

Sept. 16, 2023

For Gary Jonas, those two words encapsulate what the summer of 2023 was like at The Little Fleet, the popular food truck lot and bar he owns and operates in downtown Traverse City.
It shouldn’t feel like a miracle to hear anyone describe a summer that way. After all, what screa... Read More >>

Eight Exceptional High School Athletes to Watch In 2023-24

Sept. 2, 2023

A football player bound for a Big Ten powerhouse. A basketball star breaking high school records set decades ago by an eventual NBA legend. A golf prodigy who was already one of the state’s best players during her freshman and sophomore seasons.

These sentences describe just...

The Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives of the North

Aug. 19, 2023

“Welcome to Flavortown.”

If you’ve ever seen an episode of the popular Food Network TV series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, you’ve surely heard host Guy Fieri say those three words before taking a big bite out of a mouthwatering burger or chowing do... Read More >>

The Next Era of the Accidentals: A New Drummer, Music Festival, and Side Projects for the Band

Aug. 5, 2023

Between releasing new music, hiring a new drummer, and plotting a busy summer tour all over Michigan, you’d think The Accidentals would have enough on their plate just fulfilling the normal obligations of being an active band.  

But northern Michigan’s favori...

Mammoth Distilling’s Torch Lake Drive

Aug. 5, 2023

Somehow, this writer didn’t know there was a Mammoth Distilling outpost in Bay Harbor. (Shame on me, but it was a happy surprise!) It was the perfect type of happy hour—not too hot and not too cold—to sit outside on the patio and people watch with a drink in hand, and op... Read More >>

Stalwart Servers

July 22, 2023

What brings you back to your favorite restaurant time and time again? The obvious answer, of course, is the food itself, while factors like location, ambiance, and affordability factor in, too.

But what about the staff?

There’s something magical about forging a conne...

Earthen Ales’ A2 IPA

July 22, 2023

One of the best parts of following the evolution of local breweries is seeing which beer becomes the “signature” for each spot. At Silver Spruce in Traverse City, it’s the German Pilsner. At Right Brain Brewery, it’s the CEO Stout. And at Earthen Ales, it’s t... Read More >>

Wild Waves and the People Who Ride Them

July 8, 2023

Matt Myers has three different apps on his phone to keep track of wind conditions. When the apps tell him conditions are optimal for kiteboarding, it usually only takes a few minutes for Myers to pile himself and his equipment into the car and set course for a beach somewhere.

&ld...

Pride on Campus

June 17, 2023

In 2022, the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor campus) was named to the “Best of the Best Colleges and Universities for LGBTQ+ Students” list by Campus Pride, an organization that has been working to create safer college environments for LGBTQ+ students since 2001. U of M has ... Read More >>

Big Voices, Big Bands, and Big Hits

June 10, 2023

Another summer is upon us, which means another slate of big-name artists are headed to Interlochen Center for the Arts for the annual Interlochen Arts Festival. If you’re like us, you consider those firefly-lit nights under the Kresge Auditorium roof to be sacred—an idyllic wa... Read More >>

The Only Solution

June 3, 2023

Could northern Michigan’s chronic homelessness problem be a thing of the past by the end of the decade? That’s the goal of a new initiative launched by the Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness (the Coalition). To achieve the mission, though, the Coalition and its p... Read More >>

Bottoms U.P.

May 20, 2023

In the spring of 2020, Northern Express planned the perfect Upper Peninsula vacation for a craft beer enthusiast, plotting a 10-stop itinerary highlighting breweries all over the U.P., from Cedarville to Ironwood. Three years later, we started thinking: Why not bring back the con... Read More >>

Traverse City Whiskey Company’s Finishing Series

May 13, 2023

Traverse City Whiskey Co. (TCWC) has a reputation for taking its base rye and bourbon recipes and adding unique twists. Think of the distillery’s best-selling American Cherry Edition whiskey, or last year’s summer-tinged Lakeside Peach bourbon. This year, TCWC has rolled out T... Read More >>

Northern Michigan’s Most Iconic Eats, 2023 Edition

May 6, 2023

There was a time when finding international cuisine or plant-based menu items in northern Michigan was basically mission impossible. As the area’s status as a foodie destination has evolved, though, the selection of restaurants and dishes has diversified substantially. Today, it&rsq... Read More >>

A Tale of Two Developments

April 29, 2023

They’re two of the most unique and widely discussed developments in recent northern Michigan memory: The first, a community of tiny houses that has now been gestating for more than five years; the second, a wellness resort in Leelanau County that’s unlike anything currently op... Read More >>

Low Bar’s The Boss

April 29, 2023

It’s hard to say what we love most about this drink, a one-of-a-kind staple at Traverse City’s Low Bar. The most noticeable attribute, as you can see from the photo, is the presentation. Bartenders deliver The Boss ($16) to your table in a smoke-filled bottle, after which it&r... Read More >>

High Days and All-Time Lows

April 15, 2023

After years of waiting, recreational marijuana is finally making its way to Traverse City, where the city government recently issued no fewer than 16 adult-use dispensary permits. That development has the potential to reshape the local market completely, not only putting recreational cann... Read More >>

Up North Aquaman Explores Great Lakes Shipwrecks

March 25, 2023

Chris Roxburgh is northern Michigan’s Aquaman.

While you might not immediately recognize his name, you’ve probably seen Roxburgh’s photography, spotted his book on the shelves of a local bookstore, seen him on TV, heard him on the radio, or read his quotes in a n... Read More >>

Holy Mole!

March 11, 2023

Six years: That’s how long it took for Loco Boys Brewing Company, Traverse City’s newest craft brewery and restaurant, to evolve from the germ of an idea into a full-fledged business. As of February 5, though, this new establishment is officially up and running, slinging from-... Read More >>

The Filling Station’s Union Street Vanilla Brown Ale

March 11, 2023

The brown ale has fallen by the wayside a bit as far as beer styles go, a victim of the wild popularity of IPAs and some impressive growth in the specialty barrel-aged stout market. These days, it’s not even a guarantee that there will be a single brown ale on a brewery’s tap ... Read More >>