September 22, 2019


Cheboygan’s Big Boom

For the last three years, a new business has opened each month in this once sleepy town. What’s happening and why?
By Al Parker | Sept. 21, 2019

New businesses are sprouting up in Cheboygan like morels after a warm spring rain.         “For the past three years, we've had one new business open each month — some are downtown, and some in other parts of the city,” said Scott Herceg, executive director of the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce. “It's included restaurants, retail, doctors, lawyers, and many others. Cheboygan is not satisfied with second place. We have $500 million in ... Read More >>

New Future for Third Oldest Lighthouse on the Great Lakes

Former alternative education site to be restored, protected, and then … ? That’s up to the Beaver Island community.
By Al Parker | Sept. 21, 2019

Charlevoix County and Networks Northwest have entered into a partnership to buy the historic Beaver Island Lighthouse School property.         “This is something that's been in the works for about two years,” explained Charlevoix County Administrator Kevin Shepard. “Last year it gained steam and we made the purchase in July. It's a real exciting project.”         The sale includes 171 acres of property, the lighthouse, 1,400 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline, and 11 total ... Read More >>

Sorry, Folks — Park’s Closed

This summer, another chapter unfolded in a Charlevoix County soap opera known as Camp Seagull Park.
By Patrick Sullivan | Sept. 21, 2019

This July, after so many years of bitter strife that divided Hayes Township and pitted neighbor against neighbor, construction of Camp Seagull Park on the northern shore of Lake Charlevoix finally appeared to be complete.At least that’s what township resident Bill Henne thought. It looked like the road down to the lake had been built, the parking lots were paved and painted, and the construction crews had pulled out. They’d taken down ... Read More >>

The Incredible Expanding Mackinaw Trail Winery (and Brewery and Cidery)

A Yooper-born winery, a rebel son, and only-in-this-place grapes, this family business has rewritten the rules on what — and where — wineries can be.
By Ross Boissoneau | Sept. 21, 2019

Some might have said Ralph Stabile didn’t understand some basic scientific/agronomic facts — like the “fact” that wine grapes wouldn’t grow as far north as Petoskey, much less the Upper Peninsula. But that didn’t stop him. Because sometimes facts are facts, and sometimes — as in the case of scientists “proving” that bumblebees can’t fly — they’re just old wives’ tales. So Stabile decided to fly in the face of widely held ... Read More >>

Uncovering — and Restoring — Middle Village History

What the 150-year-old Odawa-built King House has revealed to archeologists so far.
By Al Parker | Sept. 21, 2019

A dedicated team of professional archaeologists and volunteers are in the midst of restoring a unique 150-year-old home in Middle Village, a Native American community near Good Hart.                “This is a unique opportunity to excavate this site,” said Dr. David Frurip, who is supervising the investigation along with North Central Michigan College Sociology Professor Kerri Finlayson. “The site is rare because it's a Native American building. We're expected to do ... Read More >>

An End to the Leelanau County Wedding Barn Dispute?

Despite a court settlement, some neighbors in an Elmwood Township battle aren't ready to quit the fight.
By Patrick Sullivan | Sept. 14, 2019

Neighbors of an Elmwood Township farm-turned-wedding-venue have hunkered down and are deciding what to do next after the township settled a federal lawsuit and agreed to allow special events to happen at controversial Noverr Farms overlooking South Lake Leelanau.The settlement between the township and Frank Noverr would seem to end a years-long dispute, but some neighbors say they believe they were sidelined, cut out of the discussion before the township surrendered, rather ... Read More >>

Queen of Cups

Teacher by day, tarot card reader by night, Sarah Bernstein divines your future while you drink.
By Ross Boissoneau | Sept. 14, 2019

It’s not like she has a secret identity, but mild-mannered high school teacher Sarah Bernstein does have another side: Taproom Tarot Gal. Bernstein moonlights as a tarot card reader for friends, private events, and publicly at area brewpubs. Why brewpubs?“Because that’s where the people are. And I love people, and I love tarot,” Bernstein said. “Plus, brewpubs let me.” Well then. That’s settled.  As one might expect, there’s more to the story. Bernstein became ... Read More >>

Scaramucci Coming Back to Traverse City

SkyBridge Capital Founder to talk Trump, economy, and saving America at TC Economic Club dinner
By Luke Haase | Sept. 14, 2019

Anthony Scaramucci officially spent six days as communications director for President Donald Trump before being notoriously fired. Always an outspoken observer of national politics, Scaramucci is also an experienced hedge fund manager and investment banker. Northern Express caught up with him by phone in advance of his Sept. 20 speech to the Economic Club of Traverse City and heard plenty of his unvarnished opinions on the president and more. Northern Express: Where are ... Read More >>

Extra Mushrooms, Please

A niche market making strides in the North’s restaurant industry
By Ross Boissoneau | Sept. 14, 2019

Once relegated largely to pizza, soups, omelets, and salads, the modest mushroom — commonly sourced from cans — hasn’t always been a popular part of American restaurant menus. (Morels being the exception Up North, of course.) But as the public has become more acquainted with the ingredient and the variety of flavors, textures, and nutrients the culinary cousins within the fungi family offer, crimini, white button, chanterelle, oyster, portabella, and their ilk ... Read More >>

Killer Kocktails

How a tippling social club evolved into a members-only deal ticket.
By Ross Boissoneau | Sept. 14, 2019

What makes a great cocktail? Well, many things, but among them are premium ingredients, complementary flavor profiles, and a pleasing appearance. Then what makes a Killer Kocktail? That’s easy. Partnering with local entrepreneur Spencer Joseph and his burgeoning business, which combines social media, merchandise, and, most recently, a bonus card offering cardholders discounts and other perks. “It’s like Two on the Town,” said Joseph of the Killer Kocktail Club card’s likeness to the longtime ... Read More >>

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