Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘local businesses’ Category

Plymouth now has a tattoo place. Welcome to Plymouth, Red Anchor Tattoo Company.

red_anchor_tattoo_company_plymouth_mi

Read Full Post »

A Plymouth dining mainstay was razed several days ago.  The Big Boy restaurant on Ann Arbor Road, just west of Sheldon Road, was closed and demolished to make room for expansion of the neighboring Kroger supermarket.  All that remains on the lot is Big Boy himself.  He stands proudly over the demolition site, holding his delicious hamburger high in the air.  Hopefully someone will preserve the figure itself.  It’s something of a pop culture icon here in the midwest.

image

image

image

Read Full Post »

So reads one of many signs in front and in the windows the Plymouth Blockbuster store (Sheldon & Ann Arbor Roads.)

That the story is closing — and this news, I know, is weeks old at this point — is no real surprise.  Blockbuster has been in financial trouble for a few years.  I imagined a year or more ago that our Blockbuster would close and, well, here we are.  She’s all but gone.

I’m probably a bit late in talking about it, but there is a massive fire sale going on now.   When I was in there on Sunday, the place was heavily picked over.  But my family was still able to find some seasons from a few TV shows we like and a few movies.  I think we spent about $28, which was something like a $1.50 a disc.  The store is also selling off shelving, TVs, things like that.

It won’t hurt to stop by.  You might find a gem or two.

Read Full Post »

Because I had relatively strong feelings about valet parking downtown, I figured that contacting the Downtown Development Authority might be a better way of voicing my concerns than simply blogging about the matter.  I’m pleased that I got responses from the DDA, by email, within hours.

What follows is the body of the response email, which explains the whole point of valet parking in front of Compari’s and Panache, how it works, and how the city believes this may actually increase downtown parking.  Having gotten the DDA’s side of the story, if you will, I feel better about the program, which is still in trial phase.

Thank you for your comments on valet parking in downtown Plymouth.  As you indicated, the valet parking pilot programs in front of Compari’s and Panache are for a limited time and will be evaluated after 90 days.

The intention of the Downtown Development Authority Board and the City Commission when approving the valet parking experiments was to free up public parking downtown during peak periods.  The thought is valet parking would allow for many vehicles to be parked on private parking lots, thereby leaving more public parking spaces for visitors to the downtown.

The valet in front of Compari’s – which is for all visitors to downtown – parks cars in the Saxton’s parking lot, a private lot which was previously closed at night.  Some nights, nearly 40 cars are parked in the Saxton’s lot.  The valet from Panache parks its vehicles in the Westchester Square parking lot off Forest Ave., which is also a private lot.  The numbers there are generally much less.  However, in both instances those are vehicles that would normally take up public spaces.

Of course, valet parking is voluntary and those who don’t want to valet their cars can  find public parking spaces throughout downtown Plymouth at no charge.

I will forward your comments to the DDA Board and City Commission.  Also, feel free to attend a DDA Board meeting (the second Thursday of the month)  or a City Commission meeting (1st and 3rd Mondays) to further express your concerns.  Both groups meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Thank you, again, for your interest in downtown Plymouth.

Decide for yourself whether this sits well with you.  I’m not certain that I think the program should remain in place, but I now have less gripes about it.

Read Full Post »

I’ve “blogged” about this, the impending doom of Blockbuster, twice in the past.

https://plymouthliving.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/several-plymouth-area-chain-businesses-on-life-support/

https://plymouthliving.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/blockbuster-files-for-bankruptcy/

I guess the prognosticators were right: Blockbuster, which put thousands of mom-and-pop video stores across the country out of business, could not adjust to changing markets and media formats.

I don’t care much for Blockbuster video other than the fact that there is a local store (Sheldon and Ann Arbor Roads) that, presumably, employees local people.  In fact, I know it does because a neighbor of mine works at the store.

The good news for Blockbuster’s competitors is that the company is in trouble and is closing stores.  Our local Blockbuster is set to close according to the big yellow and black banner on the front of the building.  The bad news is that there will be ______ of people around here without jobs.  Hopefully they’ll find better work at other area businesses.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Here are some of the sights from last weekend’s first annual Pumpkinpalooza.  The Chamber of Commerce and local businesses switched up the downtown Halloween event this year.  In years past, local businesses put out candy for store-to-store trick-or-treating.  The manager of one very prominent business owner told me that aspects of the past events actually hindered downtown business patronage.  To bring people downtown, and give the kids something fun to do for the upcoming holiday, the community put together Pumpkinpalooza which is more like a mini-festival.  By all accounts, it went over quite well.  It’s obvious from the photos that people had a great time and they lucked out with good weather.

Enjoy the photos (used by permission of Sonia Tomassi and borrowed from the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page)

Gorilla and banana family

Hula hoopster

Handsome stoplight

Liam the light

Giant S'more

Fred, Scooby and the Mystery Machine

H_ppy H_ll_ _ een Hangman. I wonder what it spells.

 

Read Full Post »

The United States Postal Service is looking at closing maybe 1,400 branches nationwide, with 3,600 branches under review.

http://news.yahoo.com/post-office-looking-close-offices-save-money-002241371.html

This article does not suggest that our post office branch will be closed.  But with our branch having been up for sale for a year or more, and knowing that the USPS is looking at closing maybe thousands of locations, it is fair to ask whether our branch could be one of them.  Our mail carrier, who works out of that branch, indicated that there seems to be a concern at that branch that if it can’t be sold, the building will be closed.   Revenues apparently might not justify keeping it open, or so goes the thinking.

I would like to see our local post office branch survive.  Not only is it an historic building, but it is one of those services that draws people downtown.   A healthy downtown, in my opinion, should have more than just candy and ice cream shops, restaurants and arts-crafts stores.

Read Full Post »

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before, probably in the context of watching college football games.  I have slightly different feelings about my favorite places to watch a game in the city, so I figured I’d tackle this topic again.

Admittedly, I’ve not watched a sporting event in every single bar in town.  They all have TV’s so pretty much any bar is a “sports bar” of sorts.  But, I’ve been checking out new (to me) places during this playoff run the Wings are in (which, sadly, is probably going to be cut short.)

Right in the city, my thoughts about some of the more well-known bars are:

The Box Bar — The Box is a great bar as far as drink variety and menu are concerned.  There are two huge projection TV’s and some smaller TV’s around the bar.  But, I think it’s actually kind of hard to watch a 3 hour game there considering the way the TV’s and seating are laid out.  Projection TV’s also have lousy pictures.  The Box is also just a smidge pricey.  On a 1 to 5 star scale, I give sports viewing at the Box 2.5 stars.

Doyle’s Tavern — Doyle’s is intimate and there is plenty of good seating in front of or around the few screens they have.  It also has the covered patio with a TV if you want to sit “outside” to catch the game.  Doyle’s isn’t necessarily the most comfortable place to park for hours, but the drink prices are really good.  I think Doyle’s is the best value in the city in terms of drinks and isn’t that what you want if you’re going to watch a game at a bar?  4 stars.

Hermann’s Olde Town Grille — Hermann’s has good food and plenty of seating around TV’s.  It’s a cool place as well.  I would like it better if the drinks were better priced.  Admittedly, I’m a bit of snob as far as alcohol goes, so specials on cheap domestic beer don’t get factored into to my feelings about a pub.  I don’t drink Bud Light so it matters not to me if a place runs specials on it.  Having said that, I was a tad disappointed that I paid for a double glass of whiskey only to see that it wasn’t, to my eyes, a double pour.  If it was a double pour, the single pour is awfully small.  The price would’ve been great had there actually been 2x the amount of booze in the glass.  Doyle’s has Hermann’s beat for pours.  For that reason, I rate Hermann’s 3.5 stars.

1999 Tavern — Unless you catch the game out in the “garage,” on a nice summer or fall day, the tavern’s really not the best place to catch a game.  It’s a nice pub and restaurant.  I love their chicken.  But to watch a game at a place, I want to like more than the food.  2.5 stars.

Ironwood Grill — In my humble opinion, the Ironwood doesn’t know what it wants to be.  The decor suggests that the place is a slightly upscale bar.  But there are TV’s all over the place and it’s a noisy place to eat.  To watch a game there is fine, but there’s something about it that doesn’t draw me in for that reason.  It just seems like an odd fit.  2.0 stars.

Sean O’Callaghan’s  — Sean’s is the best place to be for a sport popular across the water, like soccer or rugby.  I’ve seen some Wings games there and I didn’t necessarily like the vibe.  It was the place to be, though, for last year’s World Cup matches.  I was lucky enough to get in there to see USA-England, which was quite a match.  For that experience, alone, I give Sean’s 3.5 stars.

Just because a place has a bunch of TV’s does not mean I want to try to watch a game at it, especially not start-to-finish.  It seems like all restaurants these days have TV’s all over the place.  That’s something, actually, that I find disappointing.  Sometimes it’s nice to eat in a quiet setting where there is little outside stimulation.  I guess we no longer just eat these days.  We have to be entertained constantly.

When you want to catch a game, though, all those TV’s can come in quite handy.  If you like getting out for a game and a drink or two, and you want to keep your money in town, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the place I mentioned.  Some are just better than others.

Read Full Post »

The Coffee Beanery, Sheldon and Ann Arbor Road, Plymouth

There is no shortage of coffee vendors in Plymouth.  Between the City and the Township, there are two Starbucks, at least two independent coffee houses, a few chains that sell lots of coffee as a sideline (e.g. Panera), and another franchise coffee store.  Of course, every gas station and restaurant sells coffee.  You can get it anywhere.

If I’m going to spend money on coffee, I look for three things, not always in this order:

  1. Convenience — Is the place close to home or work?  Can I get my coffee and get out of there quickly when I’m in a hurry?
  2. Coffee quality — Does the coffee taste good?  How is the variety?  If it’s not better than the lousy Maxwell House we have at the office, there’s no point in paying $2 for a cup.
  3. Service — Are the people cool?  I don’t need to be best buddies with the barista, but I’d like to think I’m a people person and when I have the time, I like to talk to the people with whom I am interacting.

Atmosphere is not a big thing for me these days.  I don’t tend to hang out much at coffee shops, so I don’t care whether or not there’s jazz wafting through the background or cool people sitting around reading heady books.   I’m certainly not against that (almost stereotypical) coffee shop atmosphere, I just don’t seek it out most of the time.

Given what I like and don’t about coffee vendors, The Coffee Beanery in Plymouth Township is one of my favorite places to get coffee in town.   It’s close to where I work; I can walk there in about 90 seconds.  That’s probably not true for most people, but getting in and out of there while you’re out and about town is just as easy if you’re driving.  The Beanery is the store closest to Ann Arbor Road, on the northwest corner of the Sheldon/AA Road intersection.  Pull in the lot, park, get your coffee, go!  Easy!

The coffee’s pretty dang good, too.  Full disclosure: I’m not a big fan of Starbucks.  That said, I feel like I can objectively the Beanery’s house blend, Beanery Blend, beats Starbucks’ house blend hands down.  Their coffees are flavorful but less acidic than some of Starbucks’ stuff I’ve had.  And you certainly won’t get better coffee or desserts at the gas station!

Each day, you’ll have three blends to choose from, typically.  For me, that’s plenty of variety.  I’ve sorted settled in with my favorites, so I don’t worry too much about choices.

Lastly, the service is great.  Everyone that works there that I’ve dealt with is genuinely warm, friendly and know how to treat customers.  The owners, the Changs, are great people and I really enjoy getting to know them.

Don’t forget the Coffee Beanery if you’re looking for a good coffee shop to hang out in or run in and grab a nice brew.  I think it works both as a sit down place — they have wi-fi *thumbs up* — and a grab-and-go place.

 

Read Full Post »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Blockbuster-files-for-apf-1049608580.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=&vm=r&vm=r

Obviously this blog is (almost) entirely local in nature.  Blockbuster’s bankruptcy is truly more of a national story.   But I am addressing this because we have a Blockbuster store right here in the community.

I’m not a big fan of Blockbuster but the store here in town (Sheldon, Ann Arbor Road) does provide some local jobs.  In fact, my neighbor works at the local store.

According to the article, the 3000 Blockbuster stores will remain operational. . . for the time being.  My guess is that it’s only a matter of time (a year, two years maybe) before Blockbuster is gone.  If that happens, hopefully the economy will have picked up a bit and any job losses can be absorbed by other businesses.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »