BAY CITY, MI — Downtown Bay City’s business mix has changed and grown in recent months and more new offerings are on the way.
In the last several months, LJ’s Kitchens of Bay City, Outdoor Adventures Inc., Attractions Hair & Nail Salon, Sugarland motorwerks, Nelsen & Co. Custom Jewelers & Engravers and Bay City Yoga all opened up shop downtown, according to Candace Bales, executive director of the Bay City Downtown Development Authority.
Downtown’s most recent additions include Harless + Hugh Flea, which is to open for its second weekend in business Thursday, June 18, and La Beson Pizzeria & Grille.
In addition, Salon Nuveau, previously located at 818 Washington Ave., moved to 115 Third St. And Brewtopia, located at 810 Saginaw St., is operating under new ownership.
And that’s just the beginning.
Here’s a look at a few more businesses that recently opened or are coming soon to downtown:
Bay City’s newest restaurant, located in the southwest corner of the Mill End Lofts building at 101 Center Ave., officially opened for business Saturday, June 13.
Tavern 101 offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu and more than 50 craft beers. Menu offerings include flatbread pizzas, pasta dishes, braised pork, beef tenderloin and salmon.
Dave Dittenber owns the new restaurant. He also owns downtown Bay City’s Old City Hall and American Kitchen restaurants.
“It was a great first weekend. We had a really nice crowd and people came from all over the Great Lakes Bay Region, and it was wonderful,” Dittenber said.
Tavern 101’s opening weekend coincided with the YWCA Riverside Arts Festival. That wasn’t planned; Dittenber had hoped to open the restaurant a few weeks prior, but the timing worked out well, he said.
“(It was) nice to see all those people out there.”
From restaurants to shopping to festivals, downtown Bay City has a lot to offer, Dittenber said.
“We’re happy to put another business in downtown Bay City.”
The new eatery is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Formerly located on Broadway, Retro Attics is re-opening at 1123 Saginaw St.
Bales said she always thought the mid-century furniture and home decor shop would be “perfect for downtown.”
“What a great addition at this time,” she said. “That’s such a popular thing that we know is going to attract such a diverse group of people, particularly the young professionals.”
Dave Bermudez and Dena Pawlicki, partners in life and business, own the shop, formerly located at 1624 Broadway. The couple travel the state, buying vintage furniture, primarily at estate sales.
“We love it, love it, love it,” Bermudez said of the retro furnishings they find. “We can remember our grandparents having it or our parents having it.”
After about a year and a half in business on Broadway, Bermudez and Pawlicki needed more space and wanted to be downtown. They closed their former location in March.
Bermudez said the majority of their inventory is 1950’s- to 1970’s-era furniture. Some of it is quite rare and valuable, such as pieces by furniture designer Adrian Pearsall.
“His stuff is extremely sought after and collectible right now,” Bermudez said, noting that prices can run into the thousands. “We’ve seen some of his stuff sell well over $10,000, just for one chair.”
Retro Attics also carries knickknacks starting at just a few dollars.
With a larger space, Bermudez said they plan to “dabble in vintage industrial” and to do some light manufacturing of mid-century inspired furniture, he said.
Retro Attics is expected to open sometime this month. Business hours are to-be-determined.
Learn more on the Retro Attics Facebook page.
That One Store
A shop called That One Store is now open at 716 Washington Ave., formerly home to Mid Michigan Music.
For the last several years, owner William Faitel has been selling merchandise online via Amazon.
But shipping can be costly, and, about six months ago, he launched a plan to open up a storefront.
That plan came to fruition on Friday, June 12.
Manager Jennifer McCarthy, who also is Faitel’s girlfriend, said they sell “a little bit of everything,” from children’s items to home decor to kitchen appliances at liquidation prices.
McCarthy’s 15-year-old daughter, Laiken, has a start-up clothing company called Iridescent Threads. She’s selling her own designs at the store, too.
Faitel said opening his store downtown was an easy decision.
“It’s awesome downtown. Why do it anywhere else?”
Faitel said he buys the merchandise from a warehouse in Indiana.
“I got a bunch of quirky, unique stuff in here, and I want people to see it.”
Learn more on That One Store’s Facebook page.
Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The business is closed on Sundays.
More changes ahead
Bales said something else is coming to 107 Fifth St., formerly Hidden Treasures Gift Boutique, but she doesn’t know what.
“That’s the mystery one next door,” she said.
Bales predicts more changes are ahead for downtown business districts, as businesses that left them years ago for suburbs and shopping malls return. She cited the move of LJ’s Kitchens from East Wilder Road to Washington Avenue as one example.
At one time, carpeting and furniture stores and many other businesses were commonly located in downtown districts. Then, “the world flipped,” she said.
“Well, they chose to come back.”
Bales said she hopes to see more of that.
“It’s an indication of center cities again becoming places of commerce,” she said.