A new bubble tea shop is coming to Traverse City, the historic Mackinaw Brewing Company building and restaurant are up for sale, the acai bowl chain Playa Bowls is coming to State Street and other businesses are moving in The ticker last look at openings, closings and moves.
George Heydlauff is aiming for a mid-June opening for Traverse City’s first dedicated bubble tea shop in the Kids Creek Marketplace on Division Street. CuTea Boba will have a “great selection” of bubble teas — tea-based drinks combined with milk or fruit flavorings, then poured over fluffy tapioca pearls — as well as fruit teas and smoothies, according to Heydlauff. He says the shop will specialize in milk teas, jasmine green tea and Assam black tea. “The quality boba pearls imported from Taiwan are top notch,” he says, adding that the establishment will use vegan and gluten-free practices in the boba and its preparation. CuTea Boba will also offer dairy-free, low-sugar, and sugar-free options.
Heydlauff is a third generation resident after his great-grandmother immigrated to Buckley in the early 1900s on a family farm. “I’ve been running a nail salon in Traverse City for about five years and have dreamed of having my own bubble tea shop since I’ve been living in Vietnam for almost seven years,” he says. Heydlauff says CuTea Boba will “start small and hope to grow in our space” when the business opens.
Several restaurant and retail changes are also coming to downtown Traverse City. Mackinaw Brewery owners Rod and Lisa Langbo put both the restaurant business and their building at 161 East Front Street on the market for $4.95 million. The nearly 13,000 square foot ‘Beadle’ building (pictured) was constructed in 1900 from Greilickville brick, although other commercial uses in the downtown corner of Front and Cass likely date back to the 1850s , according to realtor Jack Lane. “There are only a handful of iconic buildings downtown, and this is one of them,” Lane says.
The Langbos have operated Mackinaw Brewing Company — which opened in 1997 — since 2002. The couple are now retiring, Lane says. The building once housed a Big Boy restaurant and previously housed Cunningham Drugs and a store for the piano company Grinnell Bros. The building is only offered for sale to a buyer who will also buy the restaurant, according to Lane. “They love the building and would like to keep it, but they understand it would be a naïve restaurant buyer who also wouldn’t want to control the real estate,” he says.
Lane says that in addition to the Mackinaw Brewing Company, the building also offers the potential for second-floor Airbnb rentals and a rooftop patio or bar. Despite the property’s high price tag, Lane expresses confidence that it will be sold by summer, with showings scheduled for this weekend and 10 interested buyers have already signed nondisclosure agreements since the listing was released. increased on Wednesday. “It’s definitely a unique opportunity to own the building,” says Lane.
Around the corner at 222 State Street, National Franchise Chain Playa Bowls is planning a mid-summer opening at the new Sock Building under construction near the Park Place Hotel. The company, which started in New Jersey and now has more than 100 locations nationwide, specializes in bringing “superfruit bowls to the masses using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients while delivering an incredible in-store brand experience,” according to the company’s website. In addition to bowls of acai, dragon fruit, kale, coconut, banana and chai pudding, Playa Bowls will feature oatmeal, fresh juices, smoothies, coffees and cold-pressed juices, according to Amy Goldberg, who will operate the franchise with her husband. Lee Goldberg. “We are looking to hire 25 to 30 employees and we already have five,” she says. “We are very excited to bring this healthy, quick and delicious meal option to our active community.” Amy Goldberg says she and her husband believe in community support and plan to donate 10% of revenue locally, as well as partnering with other downtown businesses for promotions. The Traverse City Playa Bowls location will be next to At Cousin Jenny’swhich is moving across the street to the new building from its current location at the corner of State and Union.
Finally, new clothing store cool opened on Friday at 120 East Front Street, which was once home to Green Island. According to owner Lisa Dykema, the store’s aesthetic is “casual, casual wear with more formal items that will still have a resort feel.” lacool will feature dresses, jackets, sweaters, tops and bottoms, casual and denim wear, skincare, jewelry, hats, scarves, handbags, shoes and gifts . Dykema aims to offer products that aren’t widely available downtown, including swimwear/coverups and high-end lines that will be exclusive to its Traverse City store. She cites Ulla Johnson, Cult Gaia, Xirena and Jonathan Simkhai as examples of fashion brands she will showcase.
Other local openings, closings and moves…
After nearly 18 years in business, Sanctuary Handicrafts (originally Gallery Fifty) – the Village’s first retail store in Grand Traverse Commons – is changing hands. Owner Christie Minervini handed over the keys to former store manager Ansel Bowden, a sale that officially closed on April 1. Bowden was hired last summer on the understanding that he would have the option of buying the store. He has over 15 years of retail experience, including a long stint managing Plamondon Shoes and Backcountry North before that. “When Christie approached me to sell the business, I immediately started planning to make it a reality,” he says. “I expect The Village at Grand Traverse Commons to continue to grow in popularity, and I’m very excited to be a part of it.” Bowden plans to continue offering the mix of gifts, books, art and jewelry the store is known for, while expanding Sanctuary’s web and social media presence and introducing a “greater selection of ‘affordable options for the average consumer’.
Chad and Diana Volant plan to open Traverse City’s “first combined mental and physical health facility” called ForceRx and Conscious performance therapy at 1414 Trade Center Drive (Suite E) on May 1. StrengthRx, overseen by Chad Volant, will offer one-on-one personal training, small group training, nutrition coaching, and individualized programs for those who want to exercise on their own. Diana Volant, a master’s in clinical psychology and senior therapist with Child and Family Services of Northwest Michigan, will focus on “improving the mental, physical, and emotional health of children, adolescents and adults by teaching them to use exercise as a coping skill in combination with therapeutic techniques” through mindful performance therapy.
A new company called Grand Traverse Rides provides “reliable and professional transportation for Traverse City and all of Leelanau County” between 9am and 9pm. Licensed and insured transportation provider offers airport departures and pickups, medical appointment transportation, private wine and brewery tours, black car service, and rides home from locations popular local consumer goods. Appointments are preferred but not required, with online planning available.
Solutions against rose pests — the oldest pest control company in the nation — is expanding its presence in Northern Michigan after acquiring the company Traverse City Cobb Pest Control. The move comes a year after Rose acquired another Traverse City company, Collier’s Pest Control. “As we expand our footprint, Rose will continue to provide the same efficient, quality pest control services to Cobb customers as we do to our current customers,” said Rose President Jim Ives. “Cobb’s has maintained a trusted name and presence in the Traverse City community for decades, and we look forward to maintaining that legacy as we combine businesses.”
After a few delays that pushed back a targeted opening in March, Marco’s pizza opened this week in part of the old Family Video space on US-31 near Chums Corner. Marco’s, one of the nation’s fastest growing pizza chains with more than 1,000 stores, is operated by franchisee Mark Smith and offers classic and original specialty pizzas, pizza bowls, calzones and submarines.
Finally, wool shop Knitting is closing this month at 308 US-31 in Traverse City near Chums Corner after more than six years there. In a Facebook Live video, owners Michael Peggeot and Randy Kelley said the business was doing well but had been forced to close because their building had been sold. The new owner of the building has given tenants 30 days to vacate the premises, according to the duo. Peggeot and Kelley are offering merchandise sales before leaving the space the last week of April.