Irish Boat Shop expands to TC, changes coming to Chums Corner / Downtown


A vacant waterfront parcel in East Bay Township will see new life this spring, two long-standing Traverse City businesses are moving to Chums Corner, and several openings and expansions are coming to downtown Traverse City at The Ticker latest look at retail and restaurant news.

Irish boat store
After searching “for decades” for the right opportunity to expand to Traverse City, maritime retailer Irish boat store is opening a new retail and service center in the former Waterfront Conference Center (pictured) at 2035 US-31 in East Bay Township.

Company president Michael Esposito said the Irish Boat Shop is targeting a spring opening for the new location, the company’s third store in northern Michigan. Owner Dave Irish opened his first store in Harbor Springs in 1961, followed by a Lake Charlevoix store in 1971. The business briefly attempted to open in Traverse City in the 1980s, but lack of technology such as Cell phones and the Internet made operating three stores so far apart too difficult at the time, according to Esposito.

“We’ve been looking at the market for decades and the time is right,” he says. “We are thrilled to have a waterfront location and to be in the Township of East Bay. Traverse City has it all: demographics, water. When I looked at all of the (possible locations) I thought the right place was on the east side… it’s a vibrant and growing part of the city.

Irish Boat Shop will specialize in the sale of water-based boats, accessories and toys, and will also offer a “little” service which “will grow as the market grows,” according to Esposito. The company’s waterfront location apparently offers the potential for a boat service, although Esposito says the company is still in the early stages of exploring the feasibility of this option. Irish Boat Shop plans to make “major renovations” to the long-vacant conference center, according to Esposito, who adds that the store will offer “spectacular views over East Bay”.

Irish Boat Shop plans to employ 5-6 staff at the Traverse City store to start with, with local talks already underway this week.

Changes in the buddy’s corner
Two long-standing Traverse City businesses are moving to the Chums Corner corridor.

Kelley’s Custom Trailers recently moved its “One Stop Trailer Destination” from 683 West Blue Star Drive to 4288 US-31 across from Menard’s. The store – which specializes in vehicle trailers, parts, custom work and services – began “over 30 years ago (with) the transformation of a trailer purchased at auction” and has grown into “a company that now sells hundreds of them each year, ”according to the company. Kelley’s move and expansion will enable downtown Traverse City Jack’s Automotive Sales and Service to embark on his own next stage of growth, says Mike Tokie, who helps run the business with his father and owner Jack Tokie and brothers Dave and Pat Tokie.

“I told (to Kelley’s owner) Pat Kelley ten years ago that if he ever wanted to sell his property, call me,” says Mike Tokie. “In November he called me and told me they were moving. We weren’t looking for (a new location), it just happened.

But the timing of the move is fortuitous, according to Tokie, who says the auto sales and service store is “stuck” beyond capacity at 114 Griffin Street across from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. The Tokies have owned and operated Jack’s Auto Sales & Service on site since 1976. The new ownership of Chums Corner will allow the company to split into two separate businesses – Jack’s Auto Sales and Jack’s Auto Service – with service operations remaining in focus. -City and sales moving. at the friends’ corner.

“There isn’t a lot of retail traffic on Griffin Street, and we can only fit about half the cars we own on that lot,” says Tokie. “We’ll have a lot more inventory and a lot more exposure there.” The new Chums Corner location is slated to open in March.

Changes downtown
A new take-out restaurant and mini-convenience store are slated to open in downtown Traverse City this summer.

Marcia Conlon opens Goodboy Arrangements in one of three live-work units overlooking State Street in the new TC Lofts building under construction next to the Park Place hotel. The store will specialize in take-out foods like sandwiches, salads and protein bowls, in addition to offering brewed coffee, prepackaged snacks and other items in a “premium mini-convenience store” format.

“The idea came about because I love New York, and one thing I love is that every time you walk down the street you’re ten feet from a place you can walk in and grab something. thing to eat in and out, ”Conlon said. “I know a lot of people would love more places like this here, where you don’t have to go to a restaurant or sit or place an order and wait.”

TC Lofts property manager Maggie Laureto notes that the new store will serve not only the public but tenants of the new apartment complex, with an interior door available to access the store from the building lobby. The new Park Place conference center and the recent opening of State Street Marketplace across the street are also expected to increase traffic to the store, Conlon hopes. A second public works unit on the ground floor of the TC Lofts will be occupied by the architectural firm Paradigm Design, while Laureto is looking for the third and final tenant. “We would love to have a tech company or an artist or something cool in there,” she says. The building is targeting an opening in June.

Also in the city center, new paraphernalia store Freedom Tackle is scheduled to open on February 15 at the lower level of 346 East Front Street, under the Slot Machine. Owner Jim Liberty hopes to fill a void left by the departure of other sporting goods stores like MC Sports by offering fishing and fishing gear, including spawning bags, lures, rods and reels for children. year round fishing needs in the area.

Finally, the construction of an extension planned for Pangea’s Pizza Pub which will double the capacity of the Front Street restaurant from 100 to 200. The project will include a new roof terrace on the upper level spanning the entire length of the building, 800 to 900 square feet of new space on the main level and extensions of kitchen and bathroom. The renovations are expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2018 summer season, according to owner Chris Mohrhardt.

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