Traverse City News and Events

Retail, Restaurant Scene Heats Up

June 21, 2017

The region’s retail and restaurant scene continues to heat up with the opening of multiple new stores and expansions in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

Global fashion retailer H&M will host the grand opening of the chain’s first Traverse City store Thursday (June 22) at noon at the Grand Traverse Mall. The store will offer men’s, women’s, teen and accessories sections, as well as H&M’s Kids collection for newborns to 14-year-olds. H&M has hired 20 employees – “almost all hired locally,” according to the company – to work the Traverse City store.

The first 200 shoppers in line will receive an H&M gift card valued between $30 and $300 along with special store offers. H&M will also offer an ongoing garment recycling program in which customers can bring in unwanted clothing from any brand and receive a 15 percent off discount card for each bag of clothing recycled. Customers who bring garments to be recycled before noon on opening day will be entered into a drawing for store gift cards.

Across from the Grand Traverse Mall, a new Japanese steak house could open as soon as this weekend at Grand Traverse Crossing. Owner Jenny Lin says Fuji Sushi Steak House will offer steak, sushi and Japanese entrees in a hibachi-style restaurant, which seats guests close to the chefs in an open-kitchen cooking environment. The restaurant will be located next to Books-A-Million. “I wanted to open last weekend, but we’re still working, so I’m hoping this weekend,” says Lin.

In downtown Traverse City, several new vendors will welcome customers this summer. Contemporary clothing and accessories brand Gitche Gumee Company opened a new “Summer Haus” retail store earlier this month at 346 East Front Street (Suite 3). The store offers a full collection of products including handbags, totes, wallets, fashion knits, t-shirts, accessories, men’s grooming, and fine leathergoods from the Isle Royale Collection. According to founder Michael Wahlstrom, the Summer Haus will also offer a “full production workshop where guests will have the opportunity to view the manufacturing, printing and textile dyeing first hand and experience the process that goes into making finished garments and accessories.”

Also on Front Street, skateboard/surf/snow board and apparel shop 2nd Level Goods has expanded to two spaces within the Front Street Commons (aka the Arcade) at 140 East Front Street. In addition to its original location on the building’s second floor, the company now occupies the former street-level High Five Threads space. That location became available after High Five Threads recently moved to an expanded space at the Grand Traverse Commons.

Painting with a Twist – a local paint and sip studio that allows participants to attend art classes while enjoying BYOB wine or beer – has opened a downtown location at 317 East Front Street (Unit B) across from the Larry C. Hardy Parking Deck. The studio offers regular open classes as well as private events and kids and family-friendly classes. For a complete studio schedule, click here.

Also downtown, State Street Marketplace and Alley’s Market both opened their doors to the public this month. State Street Marketplace – located across from the Park Place Hotel in the former Master Dry Cleaners building – is a new indoor open-air marketplace offering 10 food and retail vendors, including anchor tenant Monkey Fist Brewing Company. The market, which also offers a patio with outdoor seating, is open seven days a week from 11am to midnight. Two blocks west, restaurateur Simon Joseph – in partnership with Troy Daily – has opened the doors to his new neighborhood-style bodega Alley’s Market in the former Harvest space behind Union Street Station. The store offers convenience and grocery items and will soon add Detroit-style pizza and to-go beer and wine. Store hours are 10am to 9pm seven days a week.

Continuing the trend of local new markets, two markets will greet shoppers in Leelanau County this summer. Owner Beau Webb has opened MI Market at 321 N. Saint Joseph Street in Suttons Bay, exclusively offering Michigan-made products with an emphasis on Grand Traverse and Leelanau offerings. Arts-and-crafts and food-and-beverage products are “sourced directly from farmers, creators, artists and crafters,” according to the company, including brands like Moomers, Great Lakes Chips, Grand Traverse Culinary Oils, Northwoods Soda, Third Coast Bakery and Natural Northern Foods. 

In Leland, multiple local artists are sharing space in the new Catbird Seat market at 110 N. Lake Street. Featured artists and products selling goods at the market include Elizabeth Conger (vintage print home décor), Kay Doyle (paintings), Tracie Herkner/It’s Sew Ewe (fiber art/local yarn), Amy Radford (paintings), Jason Rollings (furniture), Liz Saile (jewelry), Michelle White (paintings and jewelry), and Lori Wilcox (painting on glass). Most items for sale at the Catbird Seat are “one-of-a-kind,” according to the company. 

In other news…
Owners Carol and Dave Saxton have opened Traverse City’s first salt spa. Urban Oasis Salt Spa, located at 1545 S. Division Street (Suite 117), offers Himalayan salt therapy rooms, which are believed to have a therapeutic effect on respiratory systems. The company also offers adult and children’s salt yoga, massage and reflexology sessions with Himalayan stones, infrared salt saunas, facials, body wraps, and meditation, mindfulness and sound therapy classes. 

Family café and play space Elf (Eat, Learn, Frolic) has closed its doors at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Owners Melissa Whitman and Ellen Fred announced the closing on the company’s Facebook page Friday, saying they were closing the café’s doors “with great sadness” and thanking customers who “supported our mission of bringing a cozy and fun place for littles and parents alike.” Also at the Grand Traverse Commons, S2S Sugar 2 Salt is opening a new breakfast space today (Wednesday) at 1371 Gray Drive Suite 300 next to Earthen Ales by the village’s water tower. The eatery will offer coffee, pastries and other housemade breakfast items Wednesday-Sunday from 7am to noon.

Old Mission Peninsula farm and nursery Harbor View Lavender has opened a new shop in Front Row Centre at 121 East Front Street. Owners Bret and Sonja Richards will offer over 50 handmade, all-natural and organic products at the store, including skin care items, linen spray, carpet freshener, jam, lavender honey and baking mixes. 

Finally, The River Outfitters has closed its location at 221 W. Grandview Parkway – but will offer an expanded presence at Logan’s Landing/Medalie Park this summer, in addition to a small outpost in the Warehouse District. Owner Mike Sutherland says he has “annexed the little parking lot” by Bay West Antiques for downtown tours and customers, but that he’s primarily focused on his Medalie Park presence for kayak and bike tours and rentals. “We’re trying to get out of the chaos of downtown, and we’ve got this great spot in the 15-acre Logan’s Landing park, so that’s our main focus,” he says.

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