Northern Express - April 15, 2024

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norther nex NORTHERN express NORTHERN MICHIGAN’S WEEKLY • april 15 - april 21, 2024 • Vol. 34 No. 13
INDUSTRY Michigan’s cannabis sales surpass $3 billion


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2 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly
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Crunching the Numbers

I am writing to respond to Greta Bolger’s letter regarding “The Need for Paid Leave” as published in the April 8 Northern Express.

Ms. Bolger cited some rather interesting numbers that just did not sound correct. She stated that “Most working people in the United States do not have paid family leave through their jobs, including 77 percent (almost 4 million) of Michigan’s workers.”

I wanted to verify these numbers, but I am not able to find that information. When I googled “how many people work in Michigan,” the results were 4,772,000 in 2023 according to Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management & Budget. The Census reported total employment at 3,768,321 for 2021. Therefore, I assume 2022 would be somewhere in between those two years.

Furthermore, I read a December 2023 final report from Growing Michigan Together whereby they studied the loss of workers in this state and came up with some recommendations (none of which mentioned paid family and medical leave) in an effort to attract and retain workers, since Michigan is performing very poorly in this area.

If 77 percent is 4 million, then Michigan would have more than 5.25 million workers. Hmm… something is just not correct with Ms. Bolger’s statement, since we have not attained that level of employment in the past few years.

I am asking that your facts be properly cited. All editorials, letters, and statements that come out of your head should be backed up by verifiable information. I, and many others, operate on data and would appreciate knowing that statements are reasonably true. As for “most working people in the United States do not have paid family leave through their jobs”…oh my!

*Editor’s Note: The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget lists Michigan’s total employment for February 2024 (the latest available data) at 4,844,000. Of that figure, 77 percent is 3,729,880. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that as of March 2022, “only 24% of private sector workers in the United States had access to paid family leave through their employer and only 43% had access to shortterm disability insurance through their employer.” By November 2023, the DOL reported employer-provided paid family leave at 27 percent.

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 3
feature One Year of Recreational Cannabis............ 9 What’s Trending in Weed 10 The Munchies.. 12 Where the Panini Reigns Supreme. 14 columns & stuff Top Ten..... 4 Spectator/Stephen Tuttle............ 6 Opinion............................................... 7 Weird 8 Dates.. 16 Nitelife............................. 20 Crossword 21 Astro..... 21 Classifieds 22 Northern Express Weekly is published by Eyes Only Media, LLC. Publisher: Luke Haase PO Box 4020 Traverse City, Michigan 49685 Phone: (231) 947-8787 Fax: 947-2425 email: Editor: Jillian Manning Finance Manager: Libby Shutler Distribution Manager: Roger Racine Sales: Lisa Gillespie, Kaitlyn Nance, Michele Young, Todd Norris, Abby Walton Porter, Caroline Bloemer For ad sales in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne & Charlevoix, call (231) 838-6948 Creative Director: Kyra Cross Poehlman Distribution: Joe Evancho, Sarah Rodery Roger Racine, Gary Twardowski Charlie Brookfield, Rachel Cara Listings Editor: Jamie Kauffold Contributors: Art Bukowski, Anna Faller, Karl Klockars, Craig Manning, Stephen Tuttle Copyright 2024, all rights reserved. Distribution: 36,000 copies at 600+ locations weekly. Northern Express Weekly is free of charge, but no person may take more than one copy of each weekly issue without written permission of Northern Express Weekly. Reproduction of all content without permission of the publisher is prohibited. SUBMIT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Keep your letter to 300 words or less, send no more than one per month, include your name/address/phone number, understand it may be further edited. That’s it. Email and hit send! For Traverse City area news and events, visit 20 Non-stops. Cherry Capital Airport Take off from Cherry Capital Airport to 20 popular U.S. destinations. No stops. No worries. Atlanta- ATL Boston- BOS Charlotte- CLT Chicago- ORD Dallas/Fort Worth- DFW Denver- DEN Detroit- DTW Fort Lauderdale- FLL Houston- IAH Minneapolis- MSP Newark- EWR New Haven- HVN New York-LaGuardia- LGA Orlando/Sanford- SFB Philadelphia- PHL Phoenix/Mesa- AZA Punta Gorda- PGD Tampa/St. Pete- PIE Washington DC-Dulles- IAD Washington DC-Reagan- DCA
letters CONTENTS

top ten this week’s

Community Impact Market

Detour Destination: Northern Express is committed to highlighting businesses in the construction zones of northern Michigan this season.

No need to drive through the orange barrels this weekend: Many of your favorite businesses from Traverse City’s major construction zones will all be in one place! Flat Cap Ventures is hosting a Community Impact Market at their Lynas Event Center on April 21 from 12-5pm and April 22 from 10am-6pm. The event hub has opened its doors free of charge to any and all local businesses affected by the US-31/Front Street/ Grandview Parkway reconstruction who want to set up a pop-up shop at the market. Expect to find merchandise and gift cards available for purchase. Entry to the market is free, and there’s ample on-site parking at the event center. Find the market at 476 US 31 South in Traverse City, and learn more at

For those in search of the ultimate snack, we raise you: Spoonful of Granola’s Cinnamon Roll Granola. Rolled out just in time for spring, this not-too-sweet treat packs all the cinnamon-y goodness of its namesake pastry into a handful of key natural ingredients: old fashioned oats, honey, and cinnamon. Each hand-crafted batch is drizzled in olive oil, baked until golden, and finished with a hearty sprinkle of Ghirardelli white chocolate chip “icing.” Add it to yogurt, toss it into salads, or munch it by the guilt-free handful…and we dare you not to go back for seconds! (Psst—speaking of guilt free, every Spoonful of Granola purchase equals a Petoskey area food pantry donation!) Find Spoonful of Granola online ($7-$9 per 10-ounce pouch) at, and seasonally at the Downtown Petoskey and Harbor Springs Farmers Markets.

Springtime Jazz

Award-winning vibraphonist Jim Cooper has been playing the vibraphone for over 45 years and has performed with jazz artists Marcus Belgrave, Buddy de Franco, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and many others. He will join the jazz ensembles of Northwestern Michigan college for their spring concert on Saturday, April 20, at 7:30pm in Milliken Auditorium. Tickets are $13/advance, $15/door for adults; $8/advance, $10/door for seniors; and free for NMC students with student IDs. nmcmusicdepartment.

Hey, Watch It! Palm Royale 4

Ever wondered about dodging security and sneaking into a swanky hotel while on vacation, then acting like you own the place? Multiply that by 10, and you have the premise of Apple TV+’s Palm Royale. Maxine Dellacorte (a southernaccented Kristen Wiig) arrives in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1969 with one goal: to secure a spot in the exclusive Palm Royale club, where the rich mingle while secrets and scandals flow like champagne. If the sets and costumes don’t hook you from the start—or Maxine’s sometimes comedic, sometimes dark ambition—the cast will: Josh Lucas, Ricky Martin, Laura Dern, Allison Janney, and Carol Burnett are just a few of the stars of the show. Will Maxine worm her way into the ranks of the wealthy…or will her house of expensive cards collapse around her?

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6 Freshwater Focus

Traverse City’s International Affairs Forum is putting a spotlight on freshwater this week with back-to-back events at the Dennos Museum Center Milliken Auditorium. First up is a free screening (tickets required) of the documentary Relentless—which follows how the sea lamprey nearly decimated fish populations in Lake Superior—at 6pm on April 17. A panel discussion including the director of the film plus experts on Great Lakes fishing will follow. Then, at 7pm on April 18, Peter Annin, director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation and author of The Great Lakes Water Wars and Purified: How Recycled Sewage Is Transforming Our Water, will take the stage for a discussion on global water tension and the Great Lakes Compact. Tickets for the April 18 event are $15; $10 for virtual livestream. Learn more at

Dark Skies and Bright Stars

You may know Emmet County is home to Headlands International Dark Sky Park, where uninterrupted Lake Michigan shoreline is protected not just from development, but also from the light pollution that blocks out the stars (or the northern lights!). Now, our area has added another Dark Sky feather to our cap: the Michigan State Wildlife Research Area on Beaver Island has been named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, the first of its kind in the state. Home to 9,425.5 acres of land, the new sanctuary is home to several important and fragile ecosystems. Peaine Township Supervisor Maria Dal Pra calls the certification “a commitment to preserving the natural beauty and nocturnal environment of our island” that will protect “natural habitats and natural heritage for future generations.” Learn more about DarkSky International at


Stuff We Love: The Caddy Wagon

If you see a bear driving around in a Jeep in Cadillac, don’t be concerned. (Well, maybe be concerned if it’s not a human in a bear costume behind the wheel. We do hear bear carjackings are on the rise.) The Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau (CAVB) is introducing the “Caddy Wagon” mobile visitor center this spring, and they’re one of the first in Michigan to do so. The Caddy Wagon—and driver Caddy Bear—will create a pop-up booth at hot spots and events in the area to help tourists and locals alike find out what’s happening in Cadillac, plus distribute information about safe and responsible recreation, such as offering Tread Lightly! info at ORV trailheads. Find out where Caddy Bear will cruise next at

Bottoms Up

You know the classic adage: April showers bring May (or early June) strawberries. (Yeah, yeah, we know it doesn’t rhyme, but it’s true!) If you’re craving that red fruit fix, Hive Coffee Co. of Suttons Bay has you covered. A standout on their seasonal menu is the Strawberry Matcha, which features your favorite super green tea alongside a sweet and spicy blend of ginger, molasses, and strawberry syrup. To finish, the whole thing is topped with freeze-dried strawberries…it’s basically springtime in a glass! Find this craft coffee shop tucked along the main drag of Suttons Bay (206 N Saint Joseph St., Suite B) and enjoy a cup there—paired with one of their to-die-for waffles—or take your beverage to-go for a stroll along through downtown.

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Hive Coffee Co.’s Strawberry Matcha


Is that bridge you’re about to cross safe? Are you sure?

This comes to mind as salvage crews try to clear the remains of the collapsed Francis Scott Key bridge that spans the entrance to Baltimore harbor. Of course, the bridge you’re on probably does not have a 984-footlong, 95,000-ton (when empty) behemoth of a ship about to impact the structure, so you’re likely safe…though boat strikes aren’t our only bridge worry.

As all of us here in northern Michigan know full well, bridges aren’t the only deficient surfaces on which our vehicles travel. Teeth-rattling, rim-bending, tire-popping, axle-bending road surfaces are somewhat of a tradition in these parts. Frustratingly inconvenient though the improvements might be, those of us who live in or travel through or to Traverse City should be thankful our trips will be infinitely smoother in just a few months. Maybe we should take comfort in the fact we are not alone.

More than two dozen spans of various sizes have collapsed in the U.S. since just 2000, and the number swells to more than 200 such disasters around the world, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

(As an aside, our Mighty Mac, still the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, has been hit at least thrice by vessels since 1989 without sustaining structural damage, though the vessels weren’t as fortunate. It’s not clear there is a ship big enough going fast enough to wreak serious structural damage, much less a collapse, to our Mackinac Bridge.)

Collisions aside, bridge safety should be a more significant part of our infrastructure discussions. According to, there are more than 617,000 bridges in the U.S., 42 percent of them are at least 50 years old, and, more troubling, 46,000 of those bridges which carry 167 million vehicles every day are “structurally deficient,” meaning they are in poor condition and should be replaced at a cost of $41.8 billion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued even more dire warnings. DOT claims more than 220,000 bridges, 75,000 of which have exceeded their “useful lifespan,” need replacing or immediate repairing.

This isn’t someone crying wolf just to move up the budget priority list. More than two dozen spans of various sizes have collapsed in the U.S. since just 2000, and the number swells to more than 200 such disasters around the world, resulting in hundreds of deaths. To be fair, bridge construction in the rural areas of some countries consists of whatever local residents can put together; there are no inspections or government standards, much less government financing.

Michigan, in general, isn’t doing great when it comes to sturdy bridges. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says Michigan has more than 11,300 bridges but nearly 1,300, or 11.5 percent, are “structurally deficient.” It could be worse—nearly 30 percent of bridges in South Carolina are in that poor condition, the worst in the country.

Traverse City hasn’t been immune to faltering bridges. We’ve recently had three we barely noticed and almost always took for granted replaced, and another will be replaced during the Grandview Parkway rebuild.

The reports we have about four million miles of interstate, federal, and state highways, country roads, and city and residential streets in the U.S. More than $17 trillion worth of the goods we buy come to us over those roads. Unfortunately, about 43 percent of public roads are now considered mediocre or poor based on ARTBA standards, and 17 percent of all vehicle miles are now being driven on roads designated as “poor.”

We haven’t exactly been keeping pace with infrastructure needs. Our friends at (and how discouraged they must be digging up all this depressing data) tell us we now have a $420 billion backlog of needed road repairs and replacement.

(There is no definitive data on what kind of direct impact poor road conditions have on vehicular accidents, though there are lots of law firms online prepared to claim poor road design, engineering, and construction cause every accident.)

There is some ongoing debate about the efficacy of building new roads in terms of reducing congestion and improving safety. A study by Stanford University several years ago somewhat controversially found that new roads actually increased traffic and all the problems that come with it. But there are any number of studies indicating the value of repairing and replacing already existing aging roadways.

The Federal Highway Administration claims for every dollar spent on roadway, highway, and bridge maintenance/repairs/ improvements returns $5.20 in savings for lower vehicle maintenance costs, decreased traffic delays, reduced fuel consumption, increased safety, reduced emissions, and improved traffic flow. Not to mention a significant reduction in the tire repair and replacement industry.

Bridge collapses resulting from any cause are still extremely rare, a testament to those who design and build them. But if we don’t begin to reduce the huge backlog of needed bridge repairs or replacements, catastrophic failures will be much less rare.

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SINCE 1981!

As I write this column, former president Jimmy Carter has been receiving hospice care for over a year at his home in South Georgia.

Whether you believe Carter was a “good” president or not most likely depends on your own political affiliation. It’s much easier to lump people in a party together and judge them one way or the other than to carefully consider each individual on their respective merits.

Like most, if not all presidents, Carter’s presidency was not without controversy. He was roundly criticized for his approach in dealing with inflation, the energy crisis, the war in Afghanistan, and the hostage crisis in Iran. Whether or not those criticisms of his actions were justified or not depends not only on one’s point of view but also how they are seen through the oft-clarifying perspective of time.

And then of course there was his controversial interview in 1976 with Playboy magazine. Carter, a devout Southern Baptist, talked at length about his view of humans being imperfect and his beliefs about God’s forgiveness. What was described by some in the media at the time was his “bombshell” admission that he had looked at women with “lust.” He went on to claim that he had “committed adultery many times in my heart.”

Carter of course was quoted out of context, but the damage in the public eye was done. Unlike several of his predecessors in the oval office and more to follow, he actually never had an affair. In fact, he was a loyal spouse to his wife Rosalynn, to whom he was married to for 77 years until her death last November. Both considered their relationship to be their “greatest achievement.”

Carter’s “sin” was hardly a moral error, but a political one: he was too honest. During his one term presidency he was committed to keeping his campaign promise of “I will never lie to you.” He often chose what he considered to be doing what was the right thing versus heeding advice and doing what was politically expedient. He took the long view toward problems and approached them with strong convictions.

Jimmy Carter was not a popular president. According to a Gallup poll taken soon after he left office in 1981, he had a low approval rating of just 34 percent. However, in a recent online survey of 156 presidential scholars, Carter ranked 22nd out of 45 presidents. In contrast, Biden received a ranking of 14th, whereas Trump ranked 45th.

Although his presidency was marked by controversy, his life after leaving office was seen by most as exemplary. In 1982, he and Rosalynn established the Carter Center with the mission of protecting human

rights. He traveled worldwide conducting peace negotiations and helping monitor elections. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in 2002.

Another major goal of the Carter Center has been to eradicate infectious diseases and bring healthcare to the poor regions of the world. A major accomplishment in that regard has been the Center’s campaign to eliminate Guinea worm disease, a parasitic infection caused by drinking contaminated water. The disease affects low income communities in remote parts of Africa that do not have safe water to drink. The Carter Center trained 100,000 healthcare workers in the African villages to help treat the disease and to teach villagers how to prevent it. In addition, it delivered millions of water filters so people would not swallow the parasite.

The effort to rid the world of the Guinea worm disease has been an unqualified success. In 1986, the disease affected 3.5 million people in 21 countries. Today there are only 14 known cases worldwide.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were also very involved with Habitat for Humanity. Beginning in 1984 until his admission to hospice last year, he has dedicated one week of every year to leading and helping build a project both here and abroad.

When all is said and done, Jimmy Carter will certainly be remembered as a good person. What qualities define a good person? First and foremost, good people are trustworthy because they are honest. You may not agree with what they say or do, but you rarely doubt their sincerity.

Good people are also compassionate, understanding, and practice forgiveness. They think about the welfare of others and advocate for actions to make the world a better place. Are good people perfect? Hardly. As the saying goes, “perfection is the enemy of the good.”

Now as we come face to face with an important election, I would argue that we choose candidates for local, state, and national offices that embody the characteristics of “goodness.” People whose actions reflect their beliefs in equality for all people instead of a privileged few. Candidates who practice non-violent communication instead of assaulting each other in the media and across the aisle. Individuals who believe in the axiom that “united we stand, divided we fall.”

Meanwhile, how would you rate your own goodness quotient? Do you truly care about other people? Are you helping your neighborhood, our state, the nation become a better place for all?

Greg Holmes lives and writes in Traverse City.

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 7
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Democracy in Action

As the November presidential election looms, with incumbent Joe Biden, 81, and former President Donald Trump, 77, squaring off again, some American voters would like to see literally anybody else on the ballot -- and Literally Anybody Else, of North Richland Hills, Texas, wants to give them that chance. A 35-year-old seventh-grade math teacher and U.S. Army veteran who legally changed his name from Dustin Ebey, the candidate says his goal is to inspire change. "America should not be stuck choosing between the 'King of Debt' (his self-declaration) and an 81-yearold," reads the declaration on Else's campaign website. "Literally Anybody Else isn't just a person, it's a rally cry." NBC-5 Dallas Fort Worth reports that Else needs the signatures of 113,151 registered voters who did not vote in the presidential primary, by May 13, in order to run as an independent candidate.


We've heard of dogs and cats going missing, only to turn up at their owners' doorsteps weeks, months or even years later; now we can add snakes to that list. The BBC reported that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were recently called to a residence in Spennymoor, County Durham, to rescue a 3-foot-long corn snake atop a garage roof; the snake had escaped a crow that attempted to carry it off. When a neighbor came by to see the rescued critter, she recognized it as her pet snake, Agnus, who had been missing for a year. RSPCA inspector John Lawson was surprised the snake had survived out in the cold for so long. "The vet believes Agnus had gone into brumation mode, similar to hibernation, and her body had shut down in order to survive," Lawson said. Agnus received treatment for a respiratory infection before being reunited with her owner.

Have It Your Way, Pal


If you are having a mental health crisis, at any time during the day or night, call us!

Some people go to extremes to get a great deal, but on March 31, one disgruntled customer at a Burger King drive-thru in Willowick, Ohio, pulled a firearm on an employee who was trying to give him a discount on his breakfast items. The employee, Howard Vernon, 38, told WOIO19 News that when he gave the customer his total, the man argued that it should cost more. "I'm, like, trying to explain to him that we had a promotion going on ... and he started cussing and getting all loud," Vernon said. The enraged man drove his gray Honda sedan out of the drive-thru but quickly returned, then stepped out of his car and pointed a gun at Vernon. After threatening him and calling him racial slurs, the man returned to his car and sped away. "It was about some bread and sausage sandwiches at 9 o'clock in the morning on Easter," Vernon said, "and you're that mad that you'd put a gun in somebody's face?" Authorities are still searching for the customer.

Male Pattern Boldness

Hey, fugitives have feelings, too! After the Avon and Somerset Police posted a wanted notice on Facebook on April 1 describing Daniel Kellaway, a wanted fugitive, as "white, about 5 ft. 9 in., of average build, with brown eyes, receding hairline ...," Kellaway (or someone claiming to be him) replied, "No need to mention the hairline, guys." A comment posted by the same account the next day reminded the police that Kellaway's birthday had passed since the information was compiled

for the notice, and that he was now 29. Kellaway is being sought in connection with driving offenses, criminal damage and threatening behavior, so while social media users got a kick out of Kellaway's comical posts, authorities have warned the public not to approach him and to call authorities if he is spotted.


After having lurked quietly on the shelves of Harvard's Houghton Library for the better part of a century, the philosophical meditation "Des Destinees de l'Ame" has undergone a facelift, according to a statement issued by the library in March. The book was acquired by the school in 1934, along with a note explaining the process of preserving human skin. The book's previous owner, an eccentric French bibliophile named Dr. Ludovic Bouland, claimed to have added the "human touch" (read: human skin) to his prize because "a book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering." The cover's origin could not be confirmed until 2014, and NBC News reported that this eventually led to an ethical review in 2023 and the recent decision to rebind the book in something less macabre.

Youth Inaction

Young people are cutting loose and losing their blues in Cambodia, but rather than embracing the "Footloose" of it all, the Guardian reports that Prime Minister Hun Manet is cracking down on the source: vehicle owners and operators who replace their cars' standard horns with ones that blast popular tunes. So enticing are these familiar refrains that young Cambodians are literally dancing in the streets, which the prime minister says poses a traffic hazard. He has directed the ministry of public works and transportation, along with Cambodia's police force, to crack down on vehicle operators whose horns emit anything other than the standard honk.

Students and parents at Alston Ridge Elementary in Cary, North Carolina, have been dealing with a unique carpool annoyance: an aggressive pest of a turkey. WTVD in Durham reports that the bird pecks at cars, windows, people -- any perceived threat in "his" territory. "This was a young male turkey who probably was looking for a mate ... and was unable to find one," said Cary Animal Services Officer Beth Wilson. "He was trying to claim a territory, and I guess he decided the carpool lane was going to be it." Wilson predicts Lonely Tom will chill out -- just as soon as his hormones die down.

Heart in the Right Place

Thinking she had spotted an abandoned baby hedgehog on the side of the road, an animal lover in England carefully gathered the creature into a box lined with newspaper and took it home, setting out some cat food and leaving it undisturbed overnight. After realizing it hadn't moved or eaten, she took the box to Lower Moss Wood Nature Reserve & Wildlife Hospital in Cheshire the next morning, where hospital manager Janet Kotze "realized ... it wasn't a hedgehog." The fluffy, spiky, hedgehog-colored "creature" was actually the pom-pom from a winter beanie. Because the elderly rescuer had kept her distance through the night, she hadn't noticed the ball's lack of eyes or ears. But her compassion melted the staff members' hearts; Kotze said the woman "did absolutely the right thing -- aside from the fact that it wasn't a hedgehog."

8 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly
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One Year of Recreational Cannabis in Traverse City Government officials,

After one year of recreational cannabis sales in Traverse City, those involved say it’s been worth the sometimes-bumpy wait.

Many municipalities throughout the state saw recreational cannabis operations up and running not long after Michigan voters first legalized the practice in 2018. It was a different story in Traverse City, where officials hashed (and re-hashed) the finer points of how to roll out rec cannabis for years before dispensaries finally got the green light to sell it in March 2023.

Northern Express connected with officials at the city and within the cannabis community to see how this first year has been, and what’s on the horizon.

City High

City Manager Liz Vogel says the city recently received a roughly $709,000 payment from the state, amounting to about $59,000 for each of a dozen active dispensaries. This comes from a 10 percent excise tax on all recreational cannabis sales in the state in addition to a six percent sales tax. Such payments will come annually to the city based on the number of active operations.

The city initially issued 16 licenses, but three are still in the buildout phase and one never opened.

It’s not yet clear what the city will do with the payment, Vogel says. There are no restrictions on how it can be spent, making it an especially welcome influx of money that will repeat annually for the foreseeable future.

“It does give us that flexibility to take a look at projects that might be out there on the backburner, maybe something the general fund couldn’t previously support but that we could use this money to support,” she says.

Ultimately, Vogel says, it will be up to the city commission to determine how to spend it. Mayor Amy Shamroe says there were earlier discussions among commissioners about possibly investing more funds in the city police department’s Quick Response Team (QRT), which provides support for people experiencing substance use, mental health troubles, and homelessness in Traverse City.

dispensary owners look back at 2023

But an election since those discussions has shaken up the commission, and the current commission has yet to formally discuss what to do with the proceeds.

“Whether we decide as a commission to set a policy to earmark that money for something specific year after year until another commission changes it, or if we’re going to take it year by year and see where the need might be, that’ll be something we’ll have to talk about as we go through the budget process in the next couple months,” Shamroe says.

Rec Saves the Day

From the business perspective, the

with the rest of the state.

“I have friends in New York, Los Angeles, all over the world, and I tell everyone that Traverse City is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, hands down,” he says. “Now we can offer all these tourists that come from all over the world the luxury of just showing their ID and getting their recreational needs.”

Elias also has heard loads of comments from downstate visitors who are glad to finally be able to get recreational in Traverse City.

“We had so many people that were heading up north for the weekend that would stop at our Bay City store or our Oscoda store, and that was going out of the way,

“We’re doing four times the revenue we were doing in medical,” Justin Elias of PUFF Cannabis says. “We were losing money every year [on medical], and now we’re trying to recoup those last three years of losses.”

addition of recreational to medical sales was of massive importance to local dispensaries. Some even temporarily suspended operations while they waited for the city to approve recreational sales.

Justin Elias is president and co-founder of PUFF Cannabis, the first outlet to offer recreational sales in Traverse City last year after a few years of medial only. They never had to shut down while waiting for rec, but Elias says the delay “hurt our pockets like crazy…really hurt our bottom line.”

Recreational sales are booming, Elias says, providing a vital boost to business.

“We’re doing four times the revenue we were doing in medical,” he says. “We were losing money every year [on medical], and now we’re trying to recoup those last three years of losses.”

Recreational sales had previously been approved in surrounding counties, making the situation particularly frustrating, Elias says. He’s glad that northern Michigan’s prime tourist destination finally caught up

causing them an hour or two delay,” he says. “Finally they can stop at their household recreational spot in Traverse City.”

The balance of tourists to locals has been somewhere in the range of 4-1 in the winter and 10-1 in the summer, Elias says. But they still have a loyal local base, including some medical customers. “The feedback from locals we’ve gotten is amazing,” Elias says. “They’re extremely happy about it.”

Local Leaf

Michael Thue is managing partner at Verts Neighborhood Dispensary, located downtown on Union Street. They opened last September and have heard nothing but good from people who walk through the front door, according to Thue.

“The tourists that are coming downtown are excited that there’s finally recreational,” he says.

Despite the happy tourists, locals are also a key segment of Thue’s business, especially since he opened too late to catch the main

tourist surge last year. Area residents seem to appreciate his operation’s focus on products that are themselves local, he says.

“We work with local suppliers, local producers, local manufacturers as much as possible,” he says. “We’re a smaller, craftcannabis type company compared to some of the other big multi-state operators…I know every [producer] that we have on the shelves, and I’ve toured the facilities.”

That said, Thue remains very excited for warmer months to arrive. Like businesses of all stripes Up North, he’s still heavily dependent on solid tourist traffic to make ends meet.

“That’s always been the Traverse City model—make your money in the summer and survive for the rest of the year,” he says.


Despite the boon of recreational sales, both Thue and Elias expect the number of Traverse City dispensaries to shrink in the coming years. One major player, Skymint, has already closed, and others are likely to follow.

“They’re not all going to survive,” Thue says. “The people will ultimately decide which ones do.”

Thue feels that much like other industries, the dispensaries that do survive will be those that offer the best customer service and product available. Customers will gravitate towards authenticity and good business practices, he says, and in this day and age, being local goes a long way.

“I think being locally owned will help big time,” he says. “People really seem to value that.”

Elias says the industry attracted a lot of people looking to strike it rich after rec was approved. But not all of them are cut out for the business, which he says is “extremely delicate” with nuances that set it apart from other endeavors.

“What’s going on right now is a lot of the people that came from real estate or other different avenues of work trying to invest in this industry [have found out] that it’s a real hands-on industry, and that’s why you’ve got people going into receivership or closing down,” he says. “We’re hands on, we’re involved, we have long-term views and we’re trying to do better on a daily basis.”

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 9
Michael Thue inside his Traverse City dispensary, Verts. City Manager Liz Vogel.

What’s Trending in Weed

Low prices, older users, edibles, and convenience products are driving the market

Cannabis culture is alive and well in Michigan.

According to the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA), 2023’s marijuana sales averaged out to $305 in cannabis spending per Michigan resident, a higher per capita rate than any other state in the country. What are all those customers buying, and what will the next 6-12 months hold for the industry?

Higher Sales & Lower Prices

Michigan is a marijuana titan, at least if you look at the numbers. Per the CRA, Michigan’s cannabis sales during the 2023 fiscal year totaled $3.06 billion, up more than 30 percent from 2022’s $2.3 billion. That number makes the Mitten the second biggest state cannabis market in the country, after California, which did $5.1 billion in sales last year. (Illinois is a distant third, with just under $2 billion in 2023 sales.)

While some experts predict that Michigan’s marijuana sales acceleration will falter in 2024 due to market saturation, Mike DiLaura, chief corporate operations and general counsel for House of Dank, suspects there is still room for growth.

“January [2024] was up 17 percent, yearover-year; February was up 20 percent,” DiLaura tells Northern Express. “When you compare those numbers to other states at our level of maturity in the adult-use marketplace, usually, in these years, they

start to slow a little bit. Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington—all of those markets ended up regressing as they got five to six years in. But we are still absolutely flying. It would not surprise me one bit if we hit $4 billion this year in sales across the state, and that’s in a market with lowering prices for the consumer.”

Speaking of lowering prices, William McKenzie, CEO of the Manistee-based Left Coast Holdings, says Michigan’s price compression problem is posing significant challenges for Michigan-based cannabis companies. It’s not uncommon, he notes, for marijuana operators in Michigan to run “really lean businesses,” with razor-thin profit margins on most products.

His company, which operates in both the retail space (with shops in Manistee, East Tawas, and Stanton) and in cannabis cultivation and processing, is able to make ends meet in part because most of that cultivation happens outdoors.

“Indoor cultivation is expensive to operate, in terms of cost per pound to produce,” McKenzie explains. That means astronomical overheads for indoor growers, and a tougher path to profit. “But for us, being outdoor cultivators, we can grow highquality product inexpensively, and then we have Michigan’s huge market to sell it into.”

Despite the challenges it poses, price compression might also be the X-factor driving Michigan’s runaway train of cannabis success—for now, at least. According to Cannabis Business Times, the state’s average

adult-use flower price saw a 78 percent dip between 2020 and 2023, from $419 per ounce to just $92 per ounce. (In the marijuana world, the word “flower” refers to the smokable part of the cannabis plant.)

While other states saw dips, they weren’t as sizable. In Illinois, for instance, the 2020to-2023 drop was 35 percent, from $452 to $293 per ounce. As a result, Michigan now has a markedly more consumer-friendly cannabis market than most other parts of the country.

“Michigan has, I think, the lowest adultuse retail pricing in the United States,” McKenzie says. “And so, Michigan, as a consumer market, is just amazing. You can buy high-quality stuff—and lots of quantity—for really inexpensive prices.”

Michigan pricing is so tempting, in fact, that it’s drawing customers from far beyond the local markets.

“A lot of out-of-state people are coming up here and shopping with us,” says Ryan Greene, general manager of House of Dank’s Traverse City store. “A lot of people from Illinois travel up here and shop with us because their prices are higher in Illinois and they like our prices here.”

Demographics & Product Trends

Another factor driving growth in the Michigan market? An ever-growing slice of the demographic pie.

Per DiLaura, cannabis consumers now range from “your 21st birthday until you’re 90,” with an especially noticeable bump in

the over-55 market. Increasingly, he says, retirees are “swapping out big pharma for cannabis because they don’t like the pills they’re putting in their body and are looking for an alternative to make them feel better.”

Eric Piedmonte, a co-owner of the Traverse City-based cannabis retailer Dunegrass, concurs with DiLaura, noting that northern Michigan especially is seeing a huge uptick of customers in the 40-60 demographic. “This idea that most people walking through our doors are 21-25 years old? That’s really not the case anymore,” he says.

The expansion into more mature age ranges is driving some of the biggest trends in cannabis right now. Older buyers, Piedmonte shares, are largely steering clear of some of smoking in favor of other consumption options.

“The idea about combustion and smoking things in general, that has a negative stigma attached to it,” Piedmonte says. “So, products that move away from that—more processed products like edibles and vape cartridges and concentrates—those appeal to a lot of individuals, especially older customers who are also new adopters.”

DiLaura agrees, noting that data from all 12 House of Dank stores shows an uptick in sales for “pot dots, low-dose gummies, or other edibles.”

It’s not just older buyers driving the popularity of those products, either. According to McKenzie, one of the big drivers in cannabis trends right now

10 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly

is a yearning for convenience. While McKenzie says “flower remains king and still accounts for half the sales in the state,” he also notes that many buyers don’t want to deal with the extra step of rolling a joint or packing a bowl.“Convenience in cannabis looks like pre-rolled joints; that sector has absolutely exploded and we sell tens of thousands of them every month,” McKenzie says.

But convenience can be a double-edged sword. “The other convenience product would be disposables,” McKenzie continues. “People are starting to call them all-inones, because the term disposable doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. The fact is, you’re basically throwing away a battery every time you buy one; it’s really not a very environmentally-friendly product. But at the end of the day, consumers drive the market, and because consumers want convenience, that means producers are going to put out convenient products like these all-in-ones.”

Another convenience product that could be primed for explosion: cannabis-infused beverages. Those products, Piedmonte says, started emerging on the market a year or two ago, but had issues around potency— “They’ve simply been dosed too high to be able to consume as an alcohol alternative,” he says. Perishability also made them a tough sell, as Piedmonte says, “It used to be that they were only shelf-stable for 30 days.”

Manufacturers are working out those kinks, figuring out ways to extend shelf life—such as by pivoting to powder-based beverages, a la Kool-Aid—and to make the drinks better tasting and less potent.

Piedmonte estimates it will still be a year or two for cannabis beverages to be truly viable on the market, but says they are “substantially better than they were a year ago.”

The Future Will 2024 be Michigan’s first $4 billion year of cannabis sales?

When Kelly Young, Founder of Torch Cannabis Co and My TCBD endeavored to become a cannaprenuer, she envisioned helping the small marijuana farmer utilize their waste. This initial business goal developed into something much bigger that is now a storefront in downtown Central Lake; bringing a niche to our Northern Michigan region for custom-made cannabis formulations designed to help people with their wellness goals.

Kelly offers one-on-one personalized consultations for the use of her products, and below are just a few examples of the health and wellness goals she has helped customers with. Sleep

For his part, McKenzie believes it’s possible: He points to the fact that many of the state’s municipalities still haven’t opted in on recreational cannabis, leaving untapped markets scattered all across both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas.

“I think it’s still only at like 30 percent [of municipalities that have adult-use ordinances],” he says. “So, there’s still a lot of growth coming in the retail sector.”

While internal factors indicate potential for continued market acceleration, McKenzie stresses that it’s important to look at external forces as well—specifically, the markets of nearby states.

In November, voters in Ohio legalized adult-use marijuana in that state, with the new law officially going into effect on December 3, 2023. Minnesota also joined the ranks of adult-use states last year, with recreational cannabis officially legal there as of August. Those legislative changes, McKenzie warns, could have an outsized impact on Michigan’s market dynamics.

“We have these retail stores in border towns like Sturgis, Michigan, where the population is only about 1,200 people, but the stores are doing $20 million, $30 million, $40 million apiece [in cannabis sales],” McKenzie says. “That’s versus the average store in Michigan, which is doing like $4 million. So, as we see Ohio come online and Minnesota come online, I think that’s going to have a significant effect on retail sales in Michigan.”

McKenzie adds: “We will still have much better product than they do, because we’re a mature market. And we have favorable pricing. So, if you live in Ohio and you’re within an hour of the border, it might still be worthwhile for you to make the drive and stock up in Michigan. But I do think we’re going to stop seeing the people driving four to six hours to shop in Michigan dispensaries. … And that’s going to affect our Michigan market.”

In addition to helping customers understand how to use cannabis and pairing them with the best blend to suit their needs, Kelly also offers the following services:

Weed weddings

Private catering events

Cannabis events venue for events organizers, including private camping accommodations.

For more information, you can contact

To learn more about Kelly, google The Green Girl to check out a previous article written by the Northern Express

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Where to go for your post-cannabis cravings

It’s a tale as old as time…weed brings on the munchies. It’s hard to achieve canna-bliss when you’re hungry, so we asked seven dispensaries throughout northwest Michigan for the restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops they recommend to their customers. (It’s always 4:20 somewhere, right?)

Lume Cannabis Co.

Petoskey, Honor, and Gaylord (plus other locations)

With a staggering 38 storefronts and counting, you’re never far from Michigan’s first adult-use dispensary, Lume Cannabis Co.—and that means scads of nearby snack opportunities!

For Gaylord-based buds, wholesale purchasing manager John Lohner says The Pine Squirrel Bar & Grill is a must. A short five-minute drive southeast of the dispensary, this local watering hole hits all the high notes with its relaxed atmosphere and killer pub fare, including pizzas, paninis, and a stacked burger lineup. “It’s a fun little place where you can count on good food and maybe play some pool or catch a game,” he says.

In Honor, things are doubly smoky courtesy of Jim’s Joint BBQ. Just east of Lume on Main Street, this family-owned barbeque spot lives up to its “no rules, no region” motto by means of house-smoked meats made with love. Go ham—literally—with the unrivaled Cuban sandwich, or keep it authentic with an entrée platter (the dry-rubbed ribs are Lohner’s pick), complete with scratch sides like baked beans, coleslaw, and corn cakes. You just can’t kill the buzz here!

Petoskey patrons are in luck: Lume has two local locations, and they’re both about equidistant from the flavor-packed paradise of Happy’s Taco Shop. Tucked into The Back Lot’s year-round bar yard, this gourmet truck does true Latin fare (think: street tacos with onion, cilantro, and lime) combined with some cheeky American fusion, like the better-than-Taco Bell Crunchwrap Royale and elusive Lamb Cheeseburger taco. “It’s absolutely amazing,” says Lohner.

Find Lume Cannabis Co. storefronts in Gaylord (499 Dickerson Rd.), Honor (9899 Honor Hwy), and Petoskey (1345 US-31).

Olean’s Northport Recreational Cannabis Northport

Per dispensary owner, Daniel Caudill, the goal when developing Olean’s Northport was to push consumers’ assumptions a bit. From their eclectic small-batch cannabis stock right down to the 20-foot-tall mascot, that’s exactly what they’ve done. For an innovative snack to match, Fingers Crossed is just the ticket. “It’s a great experience all around,” Caudill notes. Less than a mile south of Olean’s, this new American eatery is all about showcasing local ingredients. Belly up to the bar for a worldclass cocktail (owner Dave Kwiatkowski is also the brains behind swanky Detroit bar The Sugar House), or dig into seasonal plates and tapas, rotating burgers, tacos, and some of the best chicken wings and chipotle ranch west of Buffalo.

Find Olean’s Northport at 776 Mill St. in Northport.

Dunegrass Co.

Traverse City, Beulah, and Cadillac (plus other locations)

Torch Cannabis Co. Central Lake

Your visit to Central Lake starts with a celebration of self at Torch Cannabis Co., where CEO Kelly “Green Girl” Young has cultivated a one-stop shop for all things cannabis health and wellness.

From there, the buzz continues about a block north at The Blue Pelican Inn & Restaurant, which is not only known for its ghostly visitors but also upscale-casual dining (psst— there’s also a basement bar!). On the shareables end, Young highlights the signature Big Bang Shrimp and a creamy Caesar salad, while entrees range from hand-crafted burgers to seafood and newly-released specialty pizzas. “Their food is always topnotch, and they’ve done a fantastic job of making Central Lake a fun place to hang out,” she adds.

Find Torch Cannabis Co. at 7957 State St. in Central Lake. (231) 676-8252;

Dunegrass’s eight statewide locations are all about elevating local adventures through cannabis; but first, you need some nosh!

At the spanking-new Traverse City shop, whose grand opening is set for 4/20, tummy grumbles are quickly quelled with a trip next door to The Little Fleet. Dunegrass staff can’t get enough of their food trucks’ variety (check out the website for the 2024 lineup) and their seasonal kitchen takeovers, which promise scratch-made eats for every palette. Dunegrass marketing director Rebecca Herd also highlights the bar’s extensive zeroproof menu—in particular, the refreshing Pineapple Express—which won’t interfere with gummy dosages.

In Cadillac, all-day brunch awaits just up the stairs from Dunegrass at Roasted Café. Helmed by chef Matt Dykema, this spot really does have the cure for every craving, from classic egg-based breakfast plates (the sausagestuffed breakfast burrito is Herd’s go-to), to soups, wraps, and global flavors, all with a distinctively local flare—and a signature cocktail menu, to boot! “It really is our go-to spot, and you can have it any time of day,” says Herd.

Tucked along the Bestie River about 14 miles south of Dunegrass in Beulah, Iron Fish Distillery offers the ultimate outdoor fuel. Stop in for a farm-distilled cocktail and pair it with a Sassage! pizza, made with buffalo sausage and recycled grain, or dip into a scoop of smoked whitefish pate. Other menu highlights include farmfresh salads, brimming handhelds, and buttery maple shortbread.

Find Dunegrass Co. in Traverse City (440 E. Front St.), Cadillac (115 N. Mitchell St.) and Beulah (7803 Crystal Dr., Suite B).

12 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly

Apothecare Cheboygan


Free smells reign in downtown Cheboygan, where Apothecare Cannabis’s certified organic herb arrives deli-style. Stock up before basking in the bacon-laced aroma of Step Inn just a few hundred feet west, whose diner-style offerings have been loved by locals for more than three decades.

Of these, homemade chorizo is an obvious standout (it headlines a breakfast skillet), as are the freshly-baked breads and plate-sized stacks of fluffy Reese’s pancakes. For an extra dose of AM motivation, Apothecare staff also highlights Cheboygan Coffee Roasters for a hot cuppa and sweettreat to go.

Find Apothecare Cheboygan at 414 N. Main St. in Cheboygan.

Riverside Provisioning


Kid in a THC candy store: check! Opened in 2022, Riverside Provisioning in Kalkaska is stocked floor-to-ceiling with leafy goodies, from the smokable stuff to waxes and oils to buzz-worthy drinks and sweets.

Once you’ve hit your sugar limit, a quick mile-and-a-half drive up 131 takes you straight to Nico’s Pizza & Grinders, where everything’s fresh and destined for sauce. Riverside staff recommends the garlicky-good bread nuggets, alongside toasty Italian grinders and syrup-drenched baklava. The pan pizza is a real gem, and its houseseasoned crust makes even the simplest pie feel like you’ve hit the gourmet jackpot. (Bonus: There’s a delivery option!)

Find Riverside Provisioning at 782 S. Cedar St. in Kalkaska. (231) 564-4005;

The Oui-D Shop Manistee

“Yes!” is the theme at The Oui-D Shop in Manistee, where guests can shop handpicked selections of organic flower and CBD products.

It’s also the only answer to a stop at nearby T.J.’s Pub, located just across the river (about five minutes south of the shop by car) inside the historic Ramsdell Inn. It doesn’t get better than this cozy tavern for elevated comfort food. Snuggle up by the crackling fireplace and tuck into some of the restaurant’s famous soup—Oui-D Shop staff loves the famous Pub Prime—or buttery Lemon-Garlic Shrimp. High-piled sandwiches are also available, as are pubstyle bakes, like meatballs and pot-roast and bacon-sprinkled mac ’n’ cheese. In short: The whole place is pretty lit.

Find The Oui-D Shop at 240 Arthur St. in Manistee.

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Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 13
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Where the Panini Reigns Supreme


Even when he was running the kitchen at Bubba’s in Traverse City, Justin Chouinard had his eye on the little restaurant space across the street.

For years, 439 East Front has housed restaurants like Patisserie Amie, Cook’s House, 9 Bean Rows, Sparks BBQ, and most recently, Zest Kitchen. Today, chef Chouinard holds the keys to that cozy little kitchen as the proprietor of Chubby Unicorn, the sandwich-focused lunch destination inspired by his former food truck of the same name.

The Wheels on the Bus

After spending 15 years at Bubba’s followed by some time at nearby Firefly, Chouinard set out on an eight-month road trip, eating his way around the country. He returned to work in another local kitchen, “then all of a sudden I saw an ad for this bus for sale. It’s gray, it’s a little taller than most buses for sale, and I thought, man, that would make a really cool food truck,” Chouinard says.

After he acquired the vehicle from the Magic School Bus company, Chouinard was basically left with a blank space.

“Everything had to be ripped out of there,” Chouinard says, so he called in his friend and professional builder Chris Richter. “I asked them what it would take to

build me a kitchen inside this tiny receptacle. He said, ‘Give me the bus for a month and I’ll make it happen.’ And he made my dream come true,” Chouinard says.

After a health department inspection to make sure everything was good to go, “Boom—I was selling.”

Deciding on a menu was a tougher decision than deciding to buy the bus in the first place. “I actually wasn’t sure what I was going to sell out of the bus when I bought it. I just knew that I could do it, and I’d figure out what it was I was going to do later,” Chouinard tells us.

Fate made that decision easier when a restaurant auction made two sandwich presses available to him (“the Cadillac of panini presses,” per Chouinard) and the heart of the Chubby Unicorn menu unfolded. The transition from full kitchen to food truck wasn’t without some wrinkles, though. Going from two decades of working with a team to a two-person operation was a big switch.

“All the kitchens I had worked in were very large, and I had a lot of staff underneath me,” Chouinard says. “It was quite the transition to go from having a lot of support staff to be just myself and one other person working the window. It went from a whole lot of camaraderie to a whole of prepping by myself and being by myself. So that was probably the biggest transition or difficulty that I had.”

Sandwich Creativity

The brick-and-mortar version of Chubby Unicorn, which opened Jan. 1, 2024, eliminates that difficulty. There’s room for a dozen patrons dining in at once, and there’s really no separation between the kitchen and the dining area, which gives Chouinard the chance to interact with new customers, get feedback on the menu, and chat with regulars.

The menu is fairly tight, with three salads, three soups, and about a half-dozen sandwiches on any given day, plus specials and a kids menu (aka “lil’ chubsters”).

A Chubby Unicorn diner fears no flavor: The Dilly Dally salad comes loaded with eleven ingredients including candied walnuts and sundried tomato basil feta cheese, while creatively-titled sandwiches like the Capi-Doodle-Dew loads up garlic asiago Bay Bread with grilled chicken, capicola, provolone, asiago cheese, peppadew peppers, red onion, cilantro, herb aioli, and sweet Italian dressing. The Thick Little Hottie goes even further, piling pastrami, roast turkey, capicola, gorgonzola, sharp cheddar, peppadew, and crispy jalapeños onto a garden ciabatta roll and topping it with both a roasted garlic aioli and a habanero drizzle.

If those sound somewhat familiar from your last visit to the food truck, Chouinard says he carried over much of the menu because what wasn’t broken didn’t need fixing.

“[The paninis] became so popular that when the brick and mortar came along, I decided to stick with the exact same thing,” he says. “I think what sets my paninis and sandwiches apart from the rest is that I butter and season the top of every single panini very specifically so that it matches the flavors on the inside of the bread. That gives it a real extra pizzazz, for sure.” (Add one more flavor to the list!)

Not that an outside influence to update the menu wasn’t there. “Some other restaurateurs tried to talk me into changing my menu, but I just felt so strongly about the following I’d created with the bus because the bus was never parked in one spot for very long. I traveled a lot with it, and the amount of people that I saw that were coming to these different locations blew my mind,” Chouinard says. “I figured I had something really special that people really enjoyed eating … and so I kept it the same. I think the formula is going well.”

Which is not to say that the menu is entirely static. Specials change every week from a nearendless font of sandwich inspiration.

“Man, my brain is continuously running. I get all my creativity out through my sandwiches,” he says. “There are some crazy flavor combinations that you certainly won’t find anywhere else.”

“Odd” Hours

One thing that you won’t find right now,

14 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly

however, are weekend hours. Yes—after all this time in professional kitchens and on his own food truck, Chouinard is only open during perhaps the most ideal hours for a restauranteur to also have a life outside a kitchen: Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm.

“It’s still super long hours just because I’m starting out,” he says, between pre-opening work, ingredient prep, and cleaning. “But being that it’s lunch, I do get to get out for

dinner time. And I have my nights off. And that’s so ideal for me because I have not had that for my entire adult life.”

The hours are also ideal for folks working downtown, especially as lunch hours have been curbed or cut at many of the area’s other eateries.

“As long as I can make a living and keep these doors open, that’s really what I’m gonna try and stick with. Just because

it is nice to have a life outside of work,” he says. “I’ve never, ever looked forward to the weekend before in my whole life. And now I’ve got a taste of what it’s like to be Monday through Friday. And it’s nice.”

It’s also nice working in a space that has so much local history, which Chouinard is certainly very aware of, noting that former tenants like the owners of Cook’s House and Sparks BBQ do stop in for lunch on occasion.

“It seems like that a lot of the restaurants that go in there end up going into a bigger building, doing bigger things. And I don’t know if that's my plan, at least not for the next five years,” he says. “I’ve had a real lust for [this] building for a long time. Now that I’m in it, I really like the way it feels.”

Find the Chubby Unicorn at 439 East Front St. in Traverse City.

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 15
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ART IN THE CASTLE: 10am-5pm, Castle Farms, Charlevoix. A juried fine art fair featuring ceramic, painting, digital, photography, jewelry, & more. Live music by the Robert Abate Trio featuring David Egeler & Mark Goike. $5 at door.

BLUEBIRD NEST BOX WORKSHOP: 10amnoon, Boardman River Nature Center, TC. Bluebird experts from the Michigan Bluebird Society explain all the steps of putting up & monitoring nest boxes & answer all of your questions. Free.

GEOLOGY HIKE SERIES: WATER REFLECTIONS: 10am. Meet at Oleson Pavilion, next to Boardman River Nature Center, TC. Featuring the Grand Traverse Area Rock and Mineral Club Pebble Pups. Through a combination of interactive experiences & expert-led discussions, the program invites you to connect with the natural beauty of rivers, fostering an appreciation for the delicate ecosystems & the mysteries that lie beneath. Must register. Free.

MICHIGAN WRITERS & AUTHORS FAIR: 10am-3pm, North End Market, 1550 N. Mitchell St., Cadillac. 47 authors & writers have been invited to sell their books. There will be speakers all day, books, crafts & activities. Free admission. friendsofthecadillaclibrary.

OPEN STUDIO, PETOSKEY: 10am-1pm, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Visual Arts Room, Petoskey. Drop-in art for all ages. New projects are offered each week. Free. event/ctac-petoskey/open-studio-april-13

THE HERBAL APOTHECARY GROWING, FORAGING, & MAKING HERBAL PRODUCTS CLASS: 10am-noon, Interlochen Public Library. Join Patti Travioli, horticulturist & traditional herbalist from Heartwood Forest Farm, as she teaches you about some common & not-so-common plants that grow around our gardens that can be transformed into herbal infusions, vinegar, tinctures, oils, & salves. Limited to 20 participants ages 13 & older. Pre-register: 231-276-6767. Free.

LITTLE WAVES: For ages 4-10. A musical children’s program series hosted by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. Each session includes a multimedia musical storybook time & a chance to see one or more of the many instruments of the orchestra up close. Held at 10:30am at Petoskey District Library & at 1pm at Charlevoix Public Library. Free.

GREAT MICHIGAN READ COMMUNITY BOOK DISCUSSION: 11am, Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Community Room, TC. Featuring “Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley. Join for this intergenerational book discussion for teens & adults. Free. tadl. org/GMR2024

ARCHITECTURE BY HAND: 1pm, Glen Arbor Arts Center. TC architect Ken Richmond & Steve Stier, a Benzie County resident who is an expert in historic barn restoration, talk about the relevance of hand work in the creation of contemporary & historic architecture. The By Hand project runs through May 30 & is comprised of a series of visual art exhibitions & community conversations. Free.

“RED”: 2pm & 7pm, Great Lakes Center for the Arts, Bay Harbor. Set in the 1950s, & based on a series of real events, this play by John Logan takes a compelling look at the ever-changing relationship between an artist & his creations. $25/$15. events/detail/red

RADIUM GIRLS: 2pm & 7:30pm, Old Town Playhouse, TC. In 1926, luminous watches were the latest rage until the girls who painted them fell ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls follows one dial painter as she fights for her day in court. At the 2pm matinee, the Grand Traverse Area chapter of the League of Women Voters will hold a special voter registration event. Adults: $33; youth under 18: $20. performances/mainstage/radium-girls.html

MADE IN MICHIGAN FUNDRAISER: 7-9pm, Cadillac Elks Lodge. Presented by Gopherwood Concerts. Featuring The Frank Youngman All-stars, including Frank, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Mark Schrock, Seth Bernard, Sterling Hill, Denny Richards, Joe Wilson & more. $10-$20.

ROCKIN’ INTO SPRING: “DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS” BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURING LAITH AL-SAADI & KINGFISHER: 7pm, Dennos Museum Center, Milliken Auditorium, NMC, TC. Doors open at 6:30pm. $10-$25.

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ART IN THE CASTLE: (See Sat., April 13, except today’s time is 11am-4pm.)



Dennos Museum Center, NMC, TC. 12:301pm: TADL Caldecott Storytime. Before the art project, join a librarian from the Traverse Area District Library for a story time featuring Caldecott books. 1-3pm: Create a nature inspired collage from recycled materials & share why Earth matters to you in the form of a haiku. Free with price of admission. dennosmuseum. org/events/community-programs.html


FESTIVAL: 1:30pm, City Opera House, TC. Featuring “Lego Batman Keychain,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding Reception,” “Mister Mirror,” “Hitchhiking,” “Break A Leg,” & “What to do about Mara Samson.” Free. cityoperahouse. org/node/569 ----------------------

“RED”: (See Sat., April 13)

“SHE DOES SHAKESPEARE”: 2pm, Old Art Building, The Blue Lantern Tea Room, Leland. Women actors shake up Shakespeare. Area actresses take their stab at famous scenes & monologues intended exclusively for men. Featuring actor/writer Shelby Lewis who has a wealth of experience in adapting “The Bard” for modern audiences. $30 each or $125 for all 5.

“MARQUEETOWN” BENEFIT SCREENING: 4pm, Dennos Museum Center, Dutmers Theater, TC. No one fights to preserve a multiplex, but some people will risk everything to save a marquee. See web site for more info. $10; benefits Dennos Museum Center ($8 Museum members).


BOYNE APPÉTIT! RESTAURANT WEEK: Boyne City, April 15-21. Restaurants & food retailers in Boyne City

& neighboring towns offer specialties with affordable price points for both lunch & dinner.

STORYTIME ADVENTURES: 1:30pm, Great Lakes Children’s Museum, TC. Featuring “Memoirs of a Goldfish” by Devin Scillian.

AF SOCIAL TC: MIX, MINGLE & MOCKTAILS: 5-7pm, The Parlor, TC. Join others who are like minded for some mingling & mocktails. Learn more about @AF Social TC & meet/catch up with some new friends. Mocktails will be available for purchase. Free.

PARLEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS?: 6:30pm, Peninsula Community Library, TC. Join staff members Becky & Mona for a mini French lesson & intro to language & culture. RSVP: 231-2237700. Free. ----------------------

GRAND TRAVERSE SHOW CHORUS FRIENDS & FAMILY PERFORMANCE: 7pm, Pine Hall, TC. This is the “dress rehearsal” for Regional competition. They will sing a few songs & then perform their two competitions songs (aka “The Package”). Free.



BUGS & BEETLES: 1011am, Boardman River Nature Center, TC. An adult-accompanied program for early learners ages 3-5 years old of all experience levels with the natural world. Enjoy stories, crafts, music, & discovery activities. As bugs & insects start to hatch in the spring, you’ll make bug habitats out of natural materials. Programming is 100% outdoors, so please dress for the weather. $5 per child. ----------------------

STORYTIME WITH MISS DIANE: 10am, Bellaire Public Library. Enjoy stories, crafts & snacks. Free. ----------------------

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:30am, Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library, lower-level Community Room. Preschoolers of all ages

are invited to join for stories, songs & active fun. Free.

BOYNE APPÉTIT! RESTAURANT WEEK: (See Mon., April 15) ----------------------

TECH TUESDAY: 11am-3pm, Bellaire Public Library. Bring in your devices &/or technology questions & Gabe will help. Free.

FREE OPEN STUDIO TUESDAYS: Noon4pm, Boyne Arts Center, Boyne City. Bring your paints, fiber arts, written arts, sculpting, jewelry, cards, drawing, or other portable mediums. Share project tips & tricks, bring a sack lunch if you want to, & enjoy an afternoon with friends.

TECH TUESDAY: IPAD BASICS: 3pm, Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library, lower-level Community Room. Bring your iPad with login info & your questions. No pre-registration required. Free.

SMART MONEY MI KIDS READ: 3:30pm, Peninsula Community Library, TC. PCL Teams up with TBA Credit Union to emphasize financial smarts for kids. 231-223-7700.

SPANISH SPEAKING COHORT: 4pm, Bellaire Public Library. This is NOT a Spanish class; just a chance to enjoy conversations with other Spanish speakers. Free.

MEDIA LITERACY 101/MIS & DIS INFORMATION: 5-6:30pm, Traverse Area District Library, TC. Presented by the LWVGTA. Learn how to tell if the information we receive can be trusted. Discussion will include AI, social media discrepancies, effective use of communication strategies, how media literacy is taught in high school, & how reporters check facts. Free.

FOLTL POETRY NIGHT: 7pm, Leelanau Township Library, Northport. Featuring a Basic Songwriting Workshop with Siusan O’Rourke. Explore the difference between spoken poetic rhyme & lyric writing. Attendees to bring note taking materials & an instrument is optional. Free. ----------------------

NCTA GRAND TRAVERSE CHAPTERAPRIL MEETING: 7pm, Boardman River Nature Center, TC. Learn when, where, & how to avoid ticks in Michigan, with an emphasis on those that transmit Lyme disease. Speak-

16 • april 15, 2024
Northern Express Weekly
The Taste of Boyne/Business Expo and Taste of Gaylord/Business Expo are both happening on the same date at the same time: Weds., April 17 from 4-7pm. In Boyne Falls head to Boyne Mountain Resort where there will be about 60 exhibitor booths from area businesses and organizations, along with food, music and more. Tickets are $10 and include a Taste Card for all food booths. Gaylord’s is held at the Ellison Place where businesses only can attend from 3-4pm. Discover new businesses and partnerships, and Taste the Best of Gaylord. Tickets are $5 or 3 non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food pantry.
13 april 13-21
send your dates to: apr
apr 16 apr 14 apr 15

er will be Dr. Jean Tsao, professor, Depts. of Fisheries & Wildlife and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University. Free. se-chapter-northcountry-trail-association/events/300099669

QUEER TALES BOOK CLUB: 7pm, Traverse Area District Library, Nelson Room, TC. Chat about books that are by &/or about LGBTQIA+ people. Reading is not required, & everyone is welcome. Held the third Tues. of the month. This month’s selection is to Bring Your Favorite Poetry or, if you have trouble picking one, select one from Adrienne Rich’s works. You can find her poems from the library catalog or from the Poetry Foundation. Free. queer-tales-book-club-poetry-month-12117


SPEAKER & MEETING: 7pm, Acme Township Hall, Williamsburg. The guest speaker will be Amy Hartzog from TART Trails of TC. Amy’s program will be on the Nakwema Trailway, the new connector between Acme & Charlevoix. For questions call: 938-9611.

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12TH ANNUAL BUSINESS EXPO & TASTE OF BOYNE: 4-7pm, Boyne Mountain Resort, Civic Center, Boyne Falls. Featuring about 60 exhibitor booths from area businesses & organizations. Includes great food, networking, music, business exhibits & more. $10; includes a Taste Card for all food booths.

AFTERNOON CHILL: 4-6pm, Harbor Springs Area Chamber office, 118 E. Main St., Harbor Springs. Connect with the Chamber team & network with other members of the local business community. Enjoy drinks, appetizers & conversation.


2024: Ellison Place, Gaylord. Business to business: 3-4pm; Open to public: 4-7pm. Discover new business, opportunities, & partnerships. Showcase your business. Taste the Best of Gaylord. Tickets: $5 or 3 non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food pantry.

COMMUNITY BOOK DISCUSSION: 5-6pm, Interlochen Public Library. Discuss Angeline Boulley’s award-winning debut novel, “Firekeeper’s Daughter.” Enjoy book chats, mocktails & crafts. 231-276-6767.

IAF: FRESHWATER FOCUS: “RELENTLESS” DOCUMENTARY SCREENING & PANEL DISCUSSION: 6-8:30pm, Dennos Museum Center, Milliken Auditorium, NMC, TC. Free; tickets required.

HERE:SAY PRESENTS: “FANTASTIC VOYAGE”: 7pm, The Alluvion, TC. Scheduled performers take the stage to tell true, first-person stories about a time in their lives that they embarked on an epic journey. $10 at door.

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COFFEE @ 10, PETOSKEY: 10-11am, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Gilbert Gallery, Petoskey. Featuring Lindsay Moore, an artist & writer with roots in northern Michigan. She is the author & illustrator of “Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival” & “Yoshi and the Ocean: A Sea Turtle’s Incredible Journey Home,” & is a New York Times bestselling illustrator for her work on Rosanne Parry’s middle grade novel, “A Whale of the Wild.” Free. crookedtree. org/event/ctac-petoskey/coffee-10-lindsay-moore


EAST JORDAN BUSINESS AFTER HOURS: 5-6:30pm, Active Recovery Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab, East Jordan.

PETOSKEY BUSINESS AFTER HOURS: 5-7pm, City Park Grill, Petoskey. Enjoy networking, food & refreshments. Bring your business cards to take part in the drawings. $10 members; $15 not-yet members.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS FORUM - FRESHWATER FOCUS: GLOBAL WATER TENSION & THE GREAT LAKES COMPACT: 5:30pm, Dennos Museum Center, Milliken Auditorium, NMC, TC. Featuring Peter Annin, director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation and the author of “The Great Lakes Water Wars,” the definitive work on the Great Lakes water diversion controversy. Event presented in partnership with NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute & Interlochen Public Radio Points North podcast team, with grant funding by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians. $15 in-person ticket, $10 online livestream, free for current students & educators.

WHY EFFECTIVE SEPTIC SYSTEMS MATTER: 5:30-7pm, Petoskey District Library, lower level classroom. Anna McGlashen (Tip of Mitt Watershed Council) & Daniel Thorell (Health Dept. of Northwest Michigan), both experts in septic regulation & the health implications of septic pollution, will give info on Michigan’s septic situation & current efforts to reduce septic system pollution. Registration required.

TRAVERSE INDIVISIBLE DINNER MEETING: 6pm, Raduno, 545 E. 8th St., TC. Topics include upcoming projects in support of responsive & effective government in Grand Traverse County. Free.

“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”: 7pm, Grand Traverse Event Center, TC. Presented by the Young Company. $21 adults; $12 for under 18.

“MARQUEETOWN” BENEFIT SCREENING: 7pm, The Garden Theater, Frankfort. No one fights to preserve a multiplex, but some people will risk everything to save a marquee. See web site for more info. $10; benefits The Garden Theater of Frankfort.


NMCAA’S LAUNDRY PROJECT: 8:30-11:30am, TC Laundry, 1131 S. Garfield Ave., TC. Free laundry service for those in need. 947-3780. --------------

FRIENDS OF THE ALDEN DISTRICT LIBRARY MONTHLY MEETING: Helena Township Community Center, Alden. Social time, 9:30am; meeting, 10am. 231-331-4318.

KITTY DONOHOE IN CONCERT: 7pm, Grow Benzie Event Center, Benzonia. This Ann Arbor based songwriter & Michigan Emmy recipient is not an Irish or Celtic singer, but clearly draws from that part of her heritage, as well as her American roots, as an artist. She writes music that has been called earthy, luminous & compelling (The Weekender). Tickets at Grow Benzie, East Shore Market in Beulah, Frankfort Bookstore, & Frankfort Corner Toy Store. $20 advance; $25 door.

TRAVERSE AREA CAMERA CLUB MEETING: First Presbyterian Church, TC. Meets the third Thurs. of the month. Social hour at 6pm; meeting at 7pm.

SINGER-SONGWRITER & POPULAR MUSIC ENSEMBLE: SONGS THAT MATTER: 7:30pm, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Corson Auditorium. Interlochen Arts Academy’s Popular Music Ensemble teams up with the Academy’s singer-songwriter majors to share a

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 17

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Sun-Tues: 12-9pm, Thurs: 4-9pm Fri-Sat: 12-10pm Kitchen open ’til 8:30pm Sun-Tues & Thurs, 9pm Fri & Sat

DRINK SPECIALS (3-6 Monday-Friday): $2 well drinks, $2 domestic drafts, $2.50 domestic bottles, $5 Hornitos margarita

selection of original songs. $17 adult; $14 child through college.

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SALE: 9am-5pm, Helena Township Community Center, Alden. Books, audio books, DVDs, music CDs & puzzles. 231-331-4318.

evening of instrumental music courtesy of the Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony led by Dr. Matthew Schlomer. $17 adults; $14 childcollege.


INTERLOCHEN IN TOWN: AN EVENING WITH DAR WILLIAMS: SOLD OUT: 7:309:30pm, The Alluvion, TC. New York-based singer-songwriter Dar Williams performs a program of original songs that span her two-and-ahalf decade career. Williams’ unique folk style draws inspiration from alt-rockers, jazz musicians, & slam poets. Her latest album is “I’ll Meet You Here.” $28. interlochen-in-town-at-the-alluvion-dar-williams

Mon- $1 chips and salsa • Tues - $1 pork quesadillas Thurs - 1/2 off apps!

DAILY FOOD SPECIALS (3-6pm): Fri - $5 hot pretzels w/ beer cheese

221 E State St. - downtown TC

For Traverse City area news and events, visit



• Massive collection of clean used vinyl we have stashed just for this

• Deals on equipment, speakers and merch!

1015 Hannah Ave. - Traverse City 231-947-3169

Smile with Confidence!

PETOSKEY’S QUACK WALK SALE: Downtown Petoskey, April 19-21. Local businesses will offer great sales. Pick up a shopping passport at Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts, & get it stamped at each participating business to enter a raffle. The winner will get a big rubber ducky filled with various prizes. For more info find ‘Petoskey’s Quack Walk Sale’ on Facebook.

LIBRARY BOARD MEETING: 10am, Bellaire Public Library. Join for the Library Board of Trustees April meeting.


LUNCHEON LECTURE: SENIORS & SOCIAL MEDIA: 11:30am-1pm, NCMC, Library Conference Center, Petoskey. Trooper Corey Hebner of the Michigan State Police will talk about social media addiction & the online scams that target seniors. $15; includes a buffet lunch.

PLACE YOUR BETS! SPORTS BETTING ECONOMICS: 11:30am-1pm, Hagerty Waterfront Center, TC. The Economic Club of TC presents a program on legalized online sports betting at their lunch meeting. Featuring Dr. John Holden, professor at the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. Free for members; $35 for guests. ----------------------

FAMILY FUN WITH SPACE!: Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library. Drop by the library between 3:30-5:30pm to explore constellations & aliens with provided crafts & activities. For all ages. Free.

“SOUPER” FRIDAYS: 5pm, Marilla Museum & Pioneer Place, Copemish. Homemade soups, breads, salads & dessert with a side dish of local history. Suggested free will donation - minimum $10.

CHILDREN & FAMILIES GO OUTSIDE TOGETHER: 6-7pm, NCMC Natural Area Trailhead, Petoskey. Little Traverse Conservancy will lead this fun, educational outdoor experience in honor of Earth Day. Free.

“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”: (See Thurs., April 18) ----------------------

STUDENT SHOWCASE 2024: 7-8pm, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Theater, Petoskey. Enjoy an evening concert featuring ensemble performances from Big Water Creative Arts’ jazz & rock band programs in Alanson, Pellston, & at CTAC - Petoskey. $10; kids under 12, free. crookedtree. org/event/ctac-petoskey/big-water-creative-artsctac-present-student-showcase-2024


“HAMLET” BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: 7:30pm, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Harvey Theatre. Presented by Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Division. A dark & dramatic tale about the impossibility of certainty, the complexity of our actions, & the mystery of death. $24 adult; $19 child through college.

IAA WIND SYMPHONY BENEFIT CONCERT: 7:30pm, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Corson Auditorium. Guitar Magic benefitting the Friends of Interlochen Public Library. Enjoy an

apr 20


EARTH WEEK BIRD WALK: 9-11am, Grass River Natural Area, Bellaire. Learn to ID birds by sight & sound & learn how to log observations online using the eBird webpage or app. Bring binoculars or borrow some from the Grass River Center. Register. $5.


YARD SALE: 9am-noon, Norte Youth Cycling, 1213 West Civic Center Dr., TC. Presented by Norte & Munson Healthcare, who will give away kid’s bike helmets to any kid who needs one. You can also explore Norte’s Bike Library, where kids can borrow a bike, free of charge, for the summer & beyond. The spring bike sale is happening at the same time.


BOOK SALE: 9am-2pm, Helena Township Community Center, Alden. Books, audio books, DVDs, music CDs & puzzles. 231-331-4318.


NINTH ANNUAL BIG LITTLE HERO RACE: 9:30am, NMC’s Main Campus, TJ Innovation Center, TC. Enjoy a superhero-themed, familyfriendly event organized by NMC students. The event features a free fun run, officially timed 5K & 10K runs, a silent auction, & more. Register in advance. $15-$25.

CELEBRATE SMART MONEY KIDS SPECIAL STORY HOUR: 10-11am, Interlochen Public Library. Featuring money & counting-themed stories & activities, a free copy of the book “Owl and Otter and the Big Talent Show,” & Money Smart Goodie Bags from TBA. 231-276-6767.

KIDS CODING CLUB: 10am, Bellaire Public Library. Join in lots of coding fun. Registration appreciated either online or by calling 231-5338814. Ages 5-18. Free.

MAKERFEST 2024 - SPECIAL EARTH DAY EDITION!: 10am-2pm, GT County Civic Center, TC. Join the library, along with RecycleSmart & many others, for an Earth Day MakerFest extravaganza. Free.

NATURE DRAWING & JOURNALING: 10am, Glen Lake Community Library, Empire. Artist & educator Penny Krebiehl will lead this guided nature journal & drawing workshop, gathering at the library before heading outdoors. Dress for outdoor weather, & bring your own drawing supplies. The group will then meet back at the library to share your work. All ages are welcome. Free.

---------------------OPEN STUDIO, PETOSKEY: (See Sat., April 13)


THE FROSTBITE TRAIL: Noon. A Charlevoix & Antrim counties small bite & drink tasting experience with 12 participating locations. $12 per person at each location.

18 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly TRAVERSE CITY 231-929-3200 • 4952 Skyview Ct. CHARLEVOIX 231-237-0955 • 106 E. Garfield Ave.

MUSIC BY HAND: 1pm, Glen Arbor Arts Center. Musicians Martha Meek & Laura Hood will talk about the value & joy of making music by hand. Meek is the director of the Martha Meek Music Studio in Suttons Bay. Hood teaches music, & chairs The Leelanau School art department. A group of Leelanau School music students will also take part in the discussion, & talk about their experience as hand music makers. The By Hand project runs through May 30, & is comprised of a series of visual art exhibitions & community conversations. Free.

ARTREACH EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: 2pm, City Opera House, TC. In partnership with the crew of ArtRageous, City Opera House is offering a free educational program prior to their evening show. ARTREACH provides an emphasis on the importance of the arts for all ages. ARTRAGEOUS ARTREACH combines multidisciplinary arts in one single immersive performance. Free; must register. info.aspx?evtinfo=387508~4398ba77-24fb-4c97ba39-c7c52fa2fcaf&epguid=74eb51fc-b7f1-435b877f-e12668802434& ----------------------

ARTRAGEOUS: 8pm, City Opera House, TC. A troupe of misfits artists, singers, dancers & musicians who started as friends doing street theatre in Vancouver. They pay tribute to a variety of art forms, icons & musical genres. Be prepared to be part of the show! $10-$40. node/511

POETRY READING: 2-5pm, Horizon Books, TC. Oomen, Scollon, Steinnorth. Group poetry reading by the fireplace. event/poetry-reading-oomen-scollon-steinnorth ----------------------

SCREENING OF “THE OCCUPATION OF THE AMERICAN MIND”: 4pm, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse, TC. Presented by UUCGT & MidEast:JustPeace. Following the screening will be a moderated question/ answer session with panelists. This film is a look at the way the news about Israel/Palestine is presented to the American public, & how it may influence the political environment for policymakers. Questions: Free.

“LYL DIA”: 6pm, East Jordan High School Auditorium. A northern Michigan teen rapping positive messages. Presented by The Depot Jordan Valley Teen Center. Admission by donation.

AF SOCIAL & LIFE TC: SACRED CIRCLE: 6-8pm, The Garden Spa, TC. Join this Women’s Sacred Circle where you will work to unwind & connect in a genuine & safe space. Free. ----------------------

“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”: (See Thurs., April 18)


Great Lakes Center for the Arts, Bay Harbor. Presented by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra & Maestro Libor Ondras, with the highlight being Marcus Paus’ “Portrait of Zhou for Flute and Orchestra.” At 6pm, GLCO Music Director & Conductor Dr. Ondras will give an optional preperformance talk about the music & composers. Free tix available for Veterans, active service members & students 18 & under by calling 231487-0010. $35-$65. dreams-of-faraway-lands



ARTIST: 7:30pm, Dennos Museum Center, Milliken Auditorium, NMC, TC. Vibraphonist Jim Cooper will perform as soloist with the NMC Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Big Band, & a special Jazz Combo who will be performing works by Jim in their spring concert. Award-winning Cooper has been playing the vibraphone for over 45 years, & has performed with jazz artists Marcus Belgrave, Buddy de Franco, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, & many others. Tickets are $13/advance, $15/door for adults; $8/ advance, $10/door for seniors; & free for NMC students with student IDs.

LORRIE MORGAN W/ JAMIE O’NEAL: 8-10:30pm, Little River Casino Resort, Manistee. Enjoy these country music stars! Lorrie Morgan is the first woman in her genre to begin her career with three consecutive Platinum albums. Jamie O’Neal is also a platinum-selling country singer with hits that include “There Is No Arizona” & “Somebody’s Hero.” $40-$55. event/lorrie-morgan-jamie-oneal


WINE RUN 5K AT MARI VINEYARDS: 8am, Mari Vineyards, TC. Run, walk or just enjoy the wine. Tickets start at $25. Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center is the charity partner for the Wine Run 5K. rdsWineRun5k?raceRefCode=eUmmgAgr



“HAMLET” BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: (See Fri., April 19, except today’s time is 2pm.)

“MARQUEETOWN” BENEFIT SCREENING: 4pm, Elk Rapids Cinema. No one fights to preserve a multiplex, but some people will risk everything to save a marquee. See web site for more info. $10; benefits Elk Rapids Cinema. bit. ly/MarqueetownElkRapidsCinema

THE ACCIDENTALS COVER ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT: 6pm, City Opera House, TC. Don’t miss The Accidentals as they kick off their Cover Art Album Release Tour in TC. Female inspired songs & full band shenanigans. $25-$100.


“BLOOM” ART EXHIBIT: Runs through May 31 at Three Seasons Gallery, The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park, TC. An exhibit of spring & summer gardens, orchards & area farmsteads. The paintings are by local oil painter Wendy McWhorter. Opening reception on Fri., April 26 from 5-7pm. Meet the artist. A portion of the sales benefit The Botanic Garden

TRADING PLACES: Crooked Tree Arts Center, Cornwell Gallery, TC. An exchange of artwork between Adrian Center for the Arts (ACA) Members & Crooked Tree Arts Center Guild Members. This will be an exhibit of ACA artwork only. Runs April 19 - May 25. An opening reception will be held on Fri., April 26 from 5-7pm. Gallery hours are Tues. through Fri., 11am-5pm, & Sat., 10am-4pm. ----------------------

OLIVER ART CENTER REGIONAL STUDENT ART EXHIBITION: Oliver Art Center, Frankfort. Runs through May 10. More than 350 artworks in all media from area elementary, middle, & high schools will be on display. The artwork will be juried by artist Nik Burkhart. Oliver Art Center is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10am-4pm & Sunday from noon-4pm. Closed on Monday.

SPRING ART SHOW: City Opera House, TC. Featuring work by artists Logan Hudson, Mike Novak, Steve Cattin, & Molly Thompson. Visit the art in the Mathia Grand Entrance Lobby & the Towsley Lobby on the 2nd floor. Runs through April 26. It can be seen Mon. through Fri. from 10am-2pm & also before public performances.

BUGS & BLOOMS - LAUREN EVERETT FINN AND MICHELLE TOCK YORK: Higher Art Gallery, TC. Featuring the work of two local artists: Lauren Everett Finn - paint & clay; & found object sculptures of Michelle Tock York. The show runs through May 3. ----------------------

“BOTANIC”: Alluvion Arts @ 414, TC. This exhibition takes a collective look at our intimate relationship to the plant kingdom. Driven by our community of collaborators & artists, this ‘living’ exhibition will grow with additional artwork, installations, plants & observations added until the exhibition closes on May 5.

CROOKED TREE ARTS CENTER, PETOSKEY: - YOUTH ART SHOW, PETOSKEY (DATE CHANGE): Held in the galleries, & featuring original works of art by young artists in grades K-12. Runs through May 3. Open Tues. through Sat., 10am-5pm.

- EMERGING ARTISTS 2024: A COLLECTION OF NCMC STUDENT WORKS : Held in Atrium Gallery through May 11. Work in glass, metals, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, illustration, video, & more will be on display. This exhibition is organized by NCMC faculty. Hours are Tues. - Sat., 10am5pm. emerging-artists-2024-collection-ncmc-student-works

DENNOS MUSEUM CENTER, NMC, TC: - HEMINGWAY IN COMICS: This exhibition presents a new, more complicated way to look at Hemingway: a man, an artist, & a character that has taken on a life of its own, & allows visitors to consider why Hemingway’s image, in particular, is so enduring. It’s not only for the dedicated Hemingway fan, but for all those with an appreciation for comics, pop culture, & the absurd. Runs through May 26. Hours are Tues. - Sun., 11am-4pm. source=cision&utm_medium=email&utm_ campaign=DMC-winter-2024

- YOUNG AT ART: A SELECTION OF CALDECOTT ILLUSTRATIONS: This exhibition includes original illustrations from Caldecott Medal recipients & from “runnerup” Honor books, as well as other illustrations by award-winning artists. It is an exhibition of works from Wichita Falls Museum of Art’s permanent collection. It runs through April 28. Hours are Tues. through Sun., 11am-4pm. upcoming-exhibitions/young-at-art.html?utm_ source=cision&utm_medium=email&utm_ campaign=DMC-winter-2024


- BY HAND PROJECT: This project is a consideration of the myriad ways in which the human hand is intrinsic to creative work; & a demonstration of what human hands can make. It runs through May 30 & offers a range of programs that explore this theme through the visual, performing, architectural, & literary arts.

- TREE OF LIFE -- AN EXHIBIT: TC artist Mary Fortuna explores the Tree Of Life - Connecting The World in this mixed media installation. This small show runs through April 25. The Tree Of Life that will grow in the GAAC’s Lobby Gallery is populated with animals, birds & insects. Each one is a hand-sewn soft sculpture. Hours: Mon. through Fri., 9am-3pm; Sat., noon-4pm.

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 19
apr 21 8563 E. Horn Road • Lake Leelanau 231-271-5550 • Centrally located in the heart of Leelanau • Big Rig Friendly • WiFi Morning Paper • Rustic Tent Sites • Hiking Trails • Golf Drivin g Range Leelanau’s Premier RV Park and Campground


4/13 & 4/19 -- DJ Ricky T, 10:30

4/20 -- The Tower of Bauer, 7:3010:30; DJ Ricky T, 10:30


4/19 -- Mitch McKolay, 6-9


4/12-13 -- Life Theory, 9:30

Mon -- Team Trivia, 7-9

Tue -- The Will Harris Trio, 8

Wed -- The Pocket, 8 Thu -- DJ Leo, 9:30

4/19-20 -- Scarkazm, 9:30

KINGSLEY LOCAL BREWING 4/18 -- Trivia Night, 7-9



4/13 & 4/20 -- Rob Coonrod, 5-7

4/15 -- Open Mic w/ Rob Coonrod, 6-9

TASTING ROOM: 4/19 -- Jim Moore, 5-7

LIL BO, TC Tues. – Trivia, 8-10 Sun. – Karaoke, 8



4/13 -- Matt Mansfield

4/19 -- Dawn Campbell & the Bohemians


4/19 -- Rhett & John, 4-6


4/19 -- Ben Richey, 6-9

NORTH BAR, TC 7-10: 4/13 -- Amanda Igra

4/17 -- Jesse Jefferson 4/18 -- Drew Hale

4/19 -- Rhett & John 4/20 -- Tai Drury


SEVEN HILLS, 6: 4/13 -- Chris Sterr

4/19 -- Jimmy Olson

4/20 -- Mitchell McKolay


BEACON LOUNGE: 4/19-20 -- Jim Hawley, 7-10



SLATE RESTAURANT: Thurs. -- Tom Kaufmann on Piano, 5-8

Fri. & Sat. – Tom Kaufmann on Piano, 6-9


4/13 -- The Insiders - A Tribute to Tom Petty: SOLD OUT, 7:30-9:30

4/15 -- Funky Uncle - Funky Fun Mondays, 6-8:30

4/17 -- Here:Say StorytellingFantastic Voyage, 7-9:30

4/18 -- The Jeff Haas Trio feat. Laurie Sears & Lisa Flahive, 6-8:30 4/19 -- Interlochen In Town: An Evening with Dar Williams: SOLD OUT, 7:30-9:30

4/20 -- Jim Alfredson & The Family Business, 7:30-9:30


4/12-13 -- Sandy & The Bandits, 7:30-11

Thu -- Trent Breithaupt's Open

Mic, 6

4/19-20 -- Tyler Gitchel's Traditional Country Show, 7:30-11


4/13 -- Themed DJ Nights, 8-11



4/13 -- Luke Woltanski & John Piatek

4/16 -- Jesse Jefferson

4/17 -- Wink Solo

4/18 -- Jimmy Olson

4/20 -- Chris Sterr


4/13 -- Rolling Dirty, 8-11

4/14 & 4/21 -- Rob Coonrod, 6-9

4/17 -- Tyler Roy, 7-10

4/18 -- David Márton, 7-10

4/19 -- Amanda Igra, 8-11

4/20 -- Luke Woltanski & The Dangerous Music Men (Trio), 8-11



4/13 -- Pickin' Pear, 8-10

4/14 -- Second Sunday Improv Show w/ Tilt Think Comedy Mixtape, 7

4/16 -- Open Mic Night, 7-9

4/17 -- Jazz Jam, 6

4/18 -- Trivia Night, 7-8

4/19 -- Andy McQuillen, 8-10

4/20 -- The Timebombs, 8-10

4/21 -- Comedy Open Mic, 7

Leelanau & Benzie


4/13 -- Matt & Brian, 3-5


Sat. -- Karaoke, 10-1



4/18 -- Trivia Night

4/19 -- Open Mic


4/18 -- Rhett & John, 4-7


6-8: 4/13 -- Wink

4/19 -- Elizabeth Landry

4/20 -- Zie


4/13 -- New Third Coast, 6:30-9:30

4/18 -- Trivia Night, 7-9

4/19 -- Tim Jones & Aaron Dye, 6:30-9:30

4/20 -- Mike Moran, 6:30-9:30


4/20 -- Dominic Fortuna, 4:45-6:45

Emmet & Cheboygan


4/13 -- Dags & Timmah!, 5-8

4/18 -- Open Mic Thursdays, 6-8:30

4/20 -- Highway North, 5-8


4/19 – Friday Night Live w/ John & Madeline Piatek, 5-8


4/17 -- Trivia, 7-9


4/18 -- Adam & The Cabana Boys, 7

CAFE SANTÉ, BOYNE CITY 4/15 -- The Shifties, 6-9



4/20 -- Jelly Roll Blues Band, 8-11


4/20 -- Nelson Olstrom, 6-8


Thu -- Open Mic & Nick Vasquez, 7 Fri - Sat -- Leanna Collins & Ivan Greilick, 7:30

Sun -- Trivia, 5:30; Dominic Fortuna, 6:30

Manistee, Wexford & Missaukee


4/20 -- Lorrie Morgan w/ Jamie O'Neal, 8-10:30


6: 4/13 -- Tim Krause

4/19 -- Cheryl Wolfram

4/20 -- Andy McQuillen - 90's Theme Night


4/17 -- Trivia Night & Music Bingo w/ Shawny-D, 6-10

4/18 -- Waylon Hanel Country Music Concert, 7 4/20 -- Reminisce - After 26


6: 4/13 -- Pete Fetters

4/19 -- Kenny Thompson

4/20 -- Keith Menzies

Otsego, Crawford & Central



4/13 -- Randy Reszka

4/19 -- Lou Thumser

4/20 -- Dan White



4/14 -- Logan Moore

4/21 -- Derek Boik

20 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly nitelife APR 13 - apr 21 edited by jamie kauffold Send Nitelife to: Grand Traverse & Kalkaska BEARDS BREWERY, PETOSKEY ROOT CELLAR: 4/13 -- Synthwave Dance Party, 7-10 BOYNE VALLEY VINEYARDS, PETOSKEY 2-6: 4/13 -- Chris Calleja 4/20 -- Chase & Allie CITY PARK GRILL, PETOSKEY Tue -- Trivia Night, 7-9 4/19 -- Annex Karaoke, 9:30 MAMMOTH DISTILLING, BAY HARBOR 4/13 -- David Lawston, 7:30-10:30 4/18 -- Thursday Trivia, 7 4/19 -- Bill Oeming, 7:30-10:30 4/20 -- SAXA4IAv, 7:30-10:30 NOGGIN ROOM PUB, PETOSKEY 4/13 -- Matt Sayles, 7-10 4/17 -- PubStumper's Trivia, 6:30 4/19 -- Lee Fayssoux, 7-10 4/20 -- Delilah DeWylde, 7-10 NORTHLAND BREWING, INDIAN RIVER 4/20
Party, 6-9
PETOSKEY VICTORIES: 4/19 -- The Marsupials, 9 POND HILL FARM, HARBOR SPRINGS 4/13 -- Ty Parkin & The Old Souls, 4-8 4/17 -- Harbor Springs Talent Showcase, 5-8 4/20 -- Myk Rise, 5-8 THE BEAU, CHEBOYGAN 4/13 -- Azic & Decades, 8 4/18 -- Musicians Playground ‘Open Mic,’ 7 4/20
-- One Love Reggae
-- Spencer Oppermann, 8
Antrim & Charlevoix
ELK RAPIDS 4/19 -- Comedy Night, 7-9 4/20 -- Old Mission Fiddle Vine, 7-10 FIRESIDE LOUNGE, BELLAIRE 4/20 -- Flip Flops & Flamingos DJ After Party, 6:30-9:30 JAX NORTHSIDE, CHARLEVOIX 4/17 -- Trivia Night, 7-9 MAMMOTH DISTILLING, BELLAIRE 4/13 -- Clint Weaner, 7:30-10:30 MUSKRAT DISTILLING, BOYNE
Guitarist for The Marsupials, Michigan grown multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Tai Drury plays solo at North Bar, TC on Sat., April 20 from 7-10pm.

“Jonesin” Crosswords

Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 21
ACROSS 1. Design details 6. Savoir-faire 10. Hunk of marble 14. Danger signal 15. Inter ___ (among others) 16. Intl. defense alliance 17. "M*A*S*H" setting 18. "___ and the Real Girl" 19. Other, en espaÒol 20. Social media message that a percussive off-Broadway show is getting a movie deal? 23. Palindromic magazine title 24. Toyota's luxury division 25. "Carte" or "mode" preceder 28. Moldova's landmass 32. "Gangnam Style" performer 33. Computer music format 35. Company that merged with Minolta in 2003 37. Nab some showy jewelry from jail? 43. "Brigadoon" lyricist Alan Jay ___ 44. Mononymous Irish singer 45. Seattle setting, briefly 47. Like lost files 51. Talking bear film-turned-TV show 52. Analgesic's targets 54. "Pale" drinks 56. Trash talk about a doctor handing out phony cold remedies? 63. "You've Got a Friend ___" 64. Bear up there 65. Bellybutton type 66. PFC superiors 67. Call it ___ 68. Cornball 69. Frobe who played Goldfinger 70. Curt agreements 71. Frequently DOWN 1. "Fifth Avenue" store 2. Novel storyline 3. Architect Saarinen 4. Cadbury egg filler 5. Corner fastener 6. Like Penn, vis-a-vis Teller 7. Jai ___ (fast-moving game) 8. Newspaper sales no. 9. Item on a list 10. Longtime Maine senator Olympia 11. Quick-drying coat 12. Agamemnon's father (and Electra's grandfather) 13. 1970s funkmeister Collins 21. It might give you the chills 22. Michigan congresswoman Rashida 25. Guitarist's hookup 26. ___ Nas X 27. It's definitely not popsicle-stick jokes 29. "Rashomon" director Kurosawa 30. Branch of a family tree, maybe 31. Sign, as a contract 34. Curling surface 36. Cavaliers, on the scoreboard 38. "___ Groove" (1985 hip-hop movie) 39. TV debut of 1980 40. "___ Miserables" 41. Science guy Bill 42. Josh of "Frozen II" 45. Tempo of a play's dialogue 46. Torch bearer 48. Times off, slangily 49. Tundra wanderer 50. Mississippi River explorer Hernando 53. Discharge, as perspiration, scientifically speaking 55. Papa or Brainy 57. Docking station? 58. Language that gave us "khaki" 59. Right away 60. Busy 61. Quote as reference 62. Not dull "Sounds Like a Deal"--onomatopoetic justice. by Matt Jones Fun Run - 5k Walk/Run10k Run Scan here for more information! BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE WELLNESS DEALS! APRIL -

RED SPIRE BRUNCH HOUSE NOW HIRING: Red Spire Brunch House in GT Commons has immediate openings for experienced kitchen line cook/prep and dishwasher. Both positions require flexible hours. Must be available during business hours. Apply in person or online at redspirebrunchhouse. com. We offer competitive wages, 401(k), and evenings off.

MR.GETITDONE: If I can't I will let you know who can.Call Mike 231-871-1028. Junk removal, leaf removal, grass, brush, powerwashing, anything just name it I can do it. Don't wait pick up the phone

COZY VACATION COTTAGE ON LAKE ANN WEEKLY $2000: Newly remodeled 2Br 1+ baths Sleeps 4 new deck/dock private beach 810-334-0111

SEWING, ALTERATIONS, MENDING & REPAIRS. Maple City, Maralene Roush 231228-6248

ROOFING REPLACEMENT & REPAIR: we are preferred roofing because we get it right the first time. now scheduling.

COMPUTER PROBLEMS?: COMPUTER PROBLEMS? I can fix your computer, tablet, phone or TV and show you how to use it. If I can't fix it I'll help you replace it with the best device for your needs. Call James Downer at Advent Tech, your high tech handyman. 231492-2087

PAID PART-TIME JOB TRAINING FOR SENIORS 55+: Applicants must be age 55 and over, be unemployed, seeking work and meet income guideline. We have Paid positions waiting to be filled. Employment Specialist Trainee, Reception/File Clerk, Retail/Customer Service, Food Service and more. Serving Grand Traverse and Northern Michigan Counties. Call us to find out more. AARP Foundation SCSEP 231-252-4544.

22 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly NORTHERN EXPRESS
Northern Express Weekly • april 15, 2024 • 23 Mike Annelin Enthusiastic & Experienced 231-499-4249 | 231-929-7900 PENDING PENDING GTCOMMONS 729 Quail Ridge • TC $850,000 • MLS# 1920243 513 Second Street • TC $995,000 • MLS# 1920403 SUNRISEVIEWS 225 E Seventeenth St, #2-B • TC $539,900 • MLS# 1919564 810 Cottageview Dr • TC $495,000 • MLS# 1918501 Office or Residential PENDING Lot #25 Arrowhead Cir • East Side $75,000 • MLS# 1915996 124 N Division • TC $1,200,000 • MLS# 1916724 Well-maintained, 3 bedroom, 3 bath east-side condo • Close proximity to everything TC has to offer • Stand alone unit offers quiet and privacy • Open and comfortable space for entertaining • Large, finished lower level – guests have their own space downstairs • Great place to walk with bay views along the way 2164 Seaview Drive | $405,000 | MLS# 1921054 NEWLISTING COMMERCIAL
24 • april 15, 2024 • Northern Express Weekly ScantheQRforour4/20 shoppersguide
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