Leelanau News and Events

Bay Theatre Adds Basketball, Mill Adds Dinner Service; Other Leelanau Business News

By Craig Manning | April 3, 2024

The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay is introducing a brand-new type of programming, The Mill Glen Arbor is adding a new restaurant component, and Leelanau’s seasonal businesses are starting to come back for the spring/summer season. The Leelanau Ticker has the scoop on these stories and other new developments in local restaurant, retail, and business news.

Bay Theatre adds live event streaming

The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay now has a commercial broadcasting license, which will allow the movie house to stream televised events.

“The Bay will be trying out this new feature with the NCAA Championship men's [basketball] game,” the Bay shared in an email announcement this week. That game is scheduled for next Monday, April 8. Admission is free, and seats will be given out on a first come, first served basis.

Bay General Manager Graham Powers tells the Leelanau Ticker that the NCAA championship will hopefully be the first of many “live televised events” that the theater presents to the public free of charge. Other possibilities for the future, he says, include the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, the Michigan/Michigan State football game, the Oscars, and more.

The Mill Glen Arbor adds dinner service

A new chapter is on the way for The Mill Glen Arbor. Since launching last spring, the business has operated primarily as a café, serving coffee, sandwiches, salads, and other light fare throughout the morning and early afternoon hours. (A lodging component, called The Mill House, came online last summer.)

Throughout the fall and winter, though, The Mill ran a series of “supper club” nights – ticketed events with rotating menus of “seasonal fare prepared with expertise” and curated beverage pairings. Now, dinner will be a regular offering at The Mill, with the business set to introduce an expanded restaurant concept called Supper on Wednesday, April 17.

“Supper Club at The Mill has evolved into a permanent dinner offering,” the business shared in a recent newsletter. “Supper is a cozy dining experience with elevated snacks and shareables within a family-style menu. Chef Bobby Thoits is presenting food that showcases the unique biodiversity of northern Michigan, in a distinctive and playful way.”

Dinner service will be offered on the lower level of The Mill from 4-9pm Wednesdays through Sundays. Supper reservations will soon be available online via The Mill website and will be “released one week out for any given date.”

Leelanau businesses plot their springtime returns

April is upon us, which means that a whole bunch of Leelanau County’s seasonal businesses are about to come out of hibernation for the 2024 season. The Leelanau Ticker will have a more comprehensive guide to those springtime reboots later this month, but for now, here are a few key dates to add to your calendar.

>The surest sign of springtime in Leelanau County is the opening of Leland’s Village Cheese Shanty in Fishtown, and that date is nearly upon us. Last Friday, the business announced that it will be opening for the season on Friday, April 12.

>Also lifting off for a fresh season on April 12 is Dune Bird Winery. The Northport spot shared the news with members in a newsletter sent out late last month, noting that “all sorts of prep” is going on behind the scenes to get things ready for Dune Bird’s third year of operation. The winery’s spring hours are 12-8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 12-7pm on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.

>Ready to hit the links? Bahle Farms Golf Course in Suttons Bay has announced that it will open for the 2024 season on Monday, April 29.

Suttons Bay nonprofit to establish “memory café” in Suttons Bay

ShareCare of Leelanau, a local nonprofit with a mission to “enhance the well-being of seniors in Leelanau County through a network of volunteers and community partners,” has unveiled plans to establish a “memory café” in the Suttons Bay area this summer.

Last week, ShareCare announced on Facebook that it had “been awarded a $4,000 grant from Cherryland Cares and a $4,000 matching sponsorship from Cherryland Electric Cooperative to support the launch of our Memory Cafe this July.”

The Alzheimer’s Association defines a memory café as “a comfortable, social gathering that allow people experiencing memory loss and a loved one to connect, socialize, and build new support networks.” According to the ShareCare of Leelanau announcement, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can “sever social connections at a time when they are needed most.” By working to “foster participation in social activities and creative and cognitive stimulation,” the organization hopes to “promote improved memory function in persons with memory loss.”

While most ShareCare of Leelanau services are available exclusively to members who live in Leelanau County, the new memory café “will be open to anyone experiencing memory loss, whether just visiting the area or living in northern Michigan.”

Former Early Bird/Leelanau Coffee Bistro building up for lease

Skip Telgard, co-owner of Leland’s beloved Bluebird Café, recently shared on Facebook that the space formerly occupied by Leelanau Coffee Bistro – and before that, by the Bluebird offshoot Early Bird breakfast and lunch restaurant – is available for lease.

In his post, Telgard touted the building’s prime location “on the busy and bustling corner of River and Main in Leland, one block from Fishtown,” calling the 58-seat space an ideal location for a “high-visibility breakfast/lunch/coffee shop.” Telgard says he's shown the space to three prospective tenants so far. "Very positive feedback, and people are making decisions very soon," he tells The Ticker. As of yet, though, the lease is still available, and Telgard encourages those interested in learning to contact him at 231-620-9494 or 231-256-9119.

Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co., which still operates a coffee shop in Glen Arbor, opened a breakfast bistro in the Early Bird space in June 2021, after the Early Bird had gone dark for most of 2020 due to pandemic factors. Leelanau Coffee closed the Leland breakfast bistro last November, and the building has been vacant since.

Local fitness facility to close

Kevin and Dawn Pryor, the proprietors of the Suttons Bay-based Body Balance Health & Fitness Center, have announced plans to retire. The gym will close its doors “for the last time” on Sunday, April 14.

“We would like to thank all the wonderful people that have been members and guests over all those years,” the Pryors wrote in a notice about their retirement. “Hopefully, we have helped some of you to a life of better physical, emotional and spiritual health.”

Despite the closure, the Pryors will continue to operate Get Outside, an “outdoor gym” offshoot of Body Balance that offers rentals of pontoons, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. Dawn, who is a licensed massage therapist, will also continue taking on massage clients.

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