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Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

The new multi-business building being built downtown, at the corner of Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail, seems to be taking shape.  I am not afraid to say that this looks like it is going to be an ugly building and doesn’t fit with the character of the city.  But, it’s coming, like it or not.  Here are some shots of the construction as of November 10, 2011.

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http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20110213/NEWS15/102130485/Green-fair-s-timing-causes-flap?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Plymouth|s

According to the Plymouth Observer, there’s a bit of a controversy over the timing of this year’s Green Street Fair: it falls on Mother’s Day weekend.  Some businesses downtown are fearful that the massive crowds and the lack of parking space will keep away Mother’s Day diners and shoppers.  The argument is that people that want to take their moms out to lunch or to run into town to buy flowers will not brave the crowds.  The counter argument is that crowds downtown are good for downtown businesses.

If my experience has any broader applicability, the Fair will both help and hurt business.  I  live in the city and when things are going on downtown of the size of the Fair (things like Art in the Park and Fall Festival), I do not even attempt to eat downtown, at least not in any of the sit-down restaurants.  They’re always packed to the rafters and I’m not big on waiting  for a table.  I might grab something quick at Jimmy John’s for my daughter or get some coffee from Panera.  To eat out down there, though, I just won’t do it.

However, I live in town.  One of the big reasons why I won’t wait in line to eat during a fair or festival is that I can eat at our restaurants anytime I like.  Most of our visitors do not live here in town.  They get hungry or want to do some shopping.  There are only so many exhibits you can look at.  Not everyone wants to choke down an elephant ear or pizza that’s made in a trailer.  Those folks fill up the restaurants.   If they didn’t, there would be places to sit.

I can’t speak too much to whether jewelry stores and florist shops and the like suffer.  My guess is that fairgoers need to buy stuff for Mother’s Day and some, who wouldn’t otherwise be in town, will buy their gifts in town.

Besides, there’s always Old Village.  It has jewelry stores, restaurants, clothing boutiques, salons, bars, etc.  Old Village, in my view, never gets enough promotion by the City.  If some of the traffic moves over there for a few days, I’m sure the folks in the redheaded stepchild part of town would be thankful.

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Many of my friends are up in arms about the smoking ban which took effect statewide on May 1.  They do not object so much about the elimination of smoking from bars and restaurants but are bothered by the perceived governmental intrusion.  I’m a believer in less being m0re when it comes to government, but I have to say that the smoking ban is long overdue.

More to the point, the smoking ban is a godsend for many of us non-smokers.  In the last week I’ve been to three (3) bars in the City of Plymouth that I avoided in the past because of the heavy smoke: Hermann’s Olde Town Grille, Doyle’s Tavern and Ironwood Grill.  I, for the first time, was able to enjoy a drink or two in these places without stinging eyes and burning lungs.

I have no data to back this up, but it appears that the smoking ban has had little or no negative impact on these businesses.  All three places were bustling when I was there.   Hermann’s, in particular, was packed Saturday night.  A few smokers drifted in and out on occasion to smoke out on the sidewalk, but I heard no grumbling or complaints.

For my wife and me, the ban has brought us back to the pubs.  I expect we’ll continue to hang out more in town now that we can do so in relative fresh air.

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Twice now I’ve had shish kabob at Red Olive (Ann Arbor Road between Main Street and Sheldon Road) and it is the best I’ve ever had, hands down.  It’s extremely tender, juicy and full of flavor.  It would be hard to make better stuff on your own barbecue.

If you like kabob I can’t recommend Red Olive highly enough!

http://www.redoliverestaurant.com/

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At least I’m declaring it that. A beautiful day combined with lots of eager celebrants = busy bars and restaurants, no doubt busier than a normal weekday St. Patrick’s Day.

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If you’re coming from out of town or live in town but hadn’t planned out your visit to the ice sculpture show, may I recommend a few places for food and drinks?

If you’re going to be around in the morning and want breakfast, head over to Crawford’s Kitchen on Starkweather.   It’s not downtown so, on a cold day, you may not want to walk from there to the ice sculptures.  But it’s very close drive (too close to drive in nice weather) from downtown.  The food is fresh and prices are reasonable.  Crawford’s is on Starkweather, just north of Main Street, about a 1/4 mile east of the downtown area.  You’ll find it in Old Village.

For lunch (if you’re not counting calories), I cannot recommend highly enough The Burger Spot, which is downtown and only about block from Kellogg Park.  TBS has fantastic burgers and hot dogs and scrumptious (haven’t used that word in years) french fries. You will pay about a dollar to two dollars more per burger there than at a fast food joint, but the burgers are excellent with many varieties from which to choose.  If you’re feeding a family, just share a basket or two of fries.  They go along way. Here’s TBS’s website. http://www.burgerspot.net/

If you just want a nice cup of coffee or some hot chocolate to warm you up, head over to the Coffee Bean on Penniman, near Harvey.  It is only a block away from Ice Spectacular.  The Bean has been voted Detroit’s Best Coffee Shop and I couldn’t agree more.  The Bean will probably be busy.  But it’s worth the wait.  There are some chain coffee/bakery places downtown, but the coffee, in my opinion, is better at the Bean.  Besides, the local business would appreciate your support.  Here’s the Bean’s webpage. http://www.plymouthcoffeebean.com/

If you’re around for dinner, there are plenty of places to eat.  If you want a more upscale type of bar food, check out either O’Callaghan’s on Penniman or 1999 Tavern on Forest.   O’Callaghan’s is a building away from Main, so it is closer (just a little) to the action.  If you want bar food and a hundreds of beer choices (literally), the Box Bar is on Ann Arbor Trail, right across from park.   There are two Italian eateries on Main, just across from the park.  Fiamma is more of an upscale restaurant. http://www.fiammagrille.com/ and Compari’s, right next door, is slightly more casual atmosphere http://www.comparisdining.com/ Both are great choices if you’re not trying to save a few dollars.

Have fun at the Ice Spectacular.

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