WE’LL BE GETTING our first look at Digs, the new downtown gastropub, this Friday.
The new owners, their friends and family have been working their butts off for the last several weeks whipping it into a newly configured shape that will make it more suitable as an entertainment venue, with a stage…and less of a drinking bar.
Actually, they’re probably working at it right now as you’re reading this. The deadline’s fast approaching.
You’ll be able to walk through Digs on Friday, just for a look. Then on Saturday there’ll be a soft launch for friends and family only. On Sunday, everyone’s invited but it’s reservations only (call 906 250-4507).
Closed Monday. But from then on, it’ll be open seven days and nights a week, 11 am to 2 am. Ambitious, to say the least.
The owners foresee it as an interesting hybrid: a center for live entertainment, a gathering place for drinkers well into the night, and a restaurant featuring much more than just your traditional bar food. A dining establishment, compliments of Andrew Sear, a highly regarded chef around town.
On Friday, Digs will be offering food and drink outside on the streets for the first ever St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Partytown USA.
NOW, ABOUT THE weather forecast for that outdoor party on Friday….
Less than ideal. Thirty-five degrees and dropping, snow, wind. Lovely.
We live in a crazy place–not enough snow and too much heat for the Rail Jam downtown in the middle of winter, not enough snow to complete the courses for the Noquemanon Ski Race and the UP 200…but if you want to throw a party in mid March? Well, good luck.
Here’s a guess, though. Most of us will don an extra layer of clothes, put on a smile, and head downtown toward the music, the food, the fun, and the beer.
YOU’VE BEEN WONDERING about NeuroTrainer, the high tech, virtual reality brain training center downtown?
The first year for this entrepreneurial venture has been a struggle at times, but it may be turning the corner.
Evidence? A second NeuroTrainer has been set up in Slovakia of all places (a hockey coach loved the idea). A third one will likely open in San Francisco later this year.
A few college teams, including NMU, are using the equipment, along with the Nashville Predators.
Most intriguing, though, is this testimonial on NeuroTrainer’s website:
“We are one of the most famous professional sports teams in the world and need to keep our partnerships confidential. Our use of the NeuroTrainer system is a valuable part of our player training strategy.”
Which sports team? NeuroTrainer founder and owner Jeff Nyquist won’t say. Can’t say, at the request of the team.
Too bad. A real live endorsement, with a name attached (the Yankees! the Packers! the Red Wings!), would do wonders for a high tech start-up.
NOTHING BUT SUPERLATIVES coming out of Tracey’s, the brand new restaurant in Munising. It’s located inside the Roam Inn, which, itself, just opened a few months ago.
TripAdvisor lists 21 reviews from Tracey’s diners. All 21 rated it “excellent.”
A sample of the responses:
“This was honestly the best meal I can remember from any restaurant in the UP….”
“We spend several weeks per year since 2007 in the U.P. This is overall the finest restaurant we have visited…”
“We just spent two days in Chicago, and for a big city, you would think we would’ve had amazing food. Nope. Everything was just okay. Tracey’s blew Chicago out of the water…”
Yikes. Talk about sky-high expectations.
THINGS COULD GET interesting here, come April or May.
That’s when first term Congressman Jack Bergman is planning to visit the U.P. for “town hall” meetings with his constituents. One of them almost certainly will take place in Marquette, and a good guess is that it will be packed with those opposed to President Trump, the proposed changes to Obamacare, and maybe Bergman himself, who describes himself as a conservative.
It’ll be fascinating to see how Bergman, a retired US Marine Corps Lieutenant General, handles what could be a rowdy, unhappy crowd.
No specific dates for the town halls have been set yet.
IN THESE HIGHLY charged political times, we’ve all got opinions, but honestly, do we truly understand the Constitution?
Most of us, probably not.
Twenty three Marquette Senior High School kids would put us all to shame. They recently took second place in the statewide We the People competition, which tests students on their knowledge of the government and the Constitution.
Their performance earned them a wild card invitation to the national finals outside of Washington DC in April. They’ll be the first U.P. school ever to go to the national finals–actually the first Michigan school north of Grand Rapids to attend.
That’s a big deal. They could use a little help financing the trip with a gofundme site they’ve set up.
They’re making Marquette proud.
NOW, A TRUE story of heroism.
But first, the standard announcement of a new business–the Kids Club child care center opening at the Methodist Church at 111 Ridge Street. Brand new. Not affiliated with the church. Open House on Saturday.
Capacity? More than 100 kids. That’s big.
But the real story is this: Patty Williams is one of the owners (the other is Jamie Curtis).
Here’s a timeline for Patty over the last seven years:
2010…She gave birth to her daughter, Ainsley.
2011…Patty was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated. Cancer free.
2013…Ainsley was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. Four surgeries. Chemo.
2013…Both mother and daughter were determined to have a rare genetic mutation (only 500 in the world) that could lead to more cancers.
2015…Patty’s cancer came back. Treated. Cancer free, but now she needs chemo for the rest of her life.
2017…Ainsley’s cancer has come back. She’s being treated.
So what does 44 year old Patty Williams do as she and her daughter valiantly fight off cancer? Well, she keeps working, she and her husband take care of their daughter and young son (cancer free)…and oh yeah, she starts a new business taking care of 100 other kids.
The message for the rest of us? Count your blessings. Quit complaining.
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