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Home Arts and Culture  New in town year in review
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Thursday, December 26,2013

New in town year in review

by ALLAN I. ROSS
A rush of new grocery stores, restaurants, bars and specialty shops confirmed Lansing’s economic upswing this year. Thirteen may be perceived as an unlucky number, but for these businesses, 2013 was full of promise.

January
Bradly’s Home & Garden
opened inside the former Old Town Comfort Station, 313 ½ E. Grand River Ave., Lansing. The store’s selection includes fine art, a variety of home décor items and handmade, high quality furniture.

Depending on where you sit at Bulgogi Korean Cuisine, 340 Albert Ave., East Lansing, you may have the choice to order from the kitchen or cook your food at your table, via an infrared barbecue.

February
The California-based Guitar Center, 517 Mall Court, Lansing Twp., opened its 242nd location in the Frandor Shopping Center. The store features a separate studio space devoted to teaching music lessons.

March
Wandering Waffle,
located inside the Lansing City Market, 325 City Market Drive, Lansing, utilizes a farmto-table ethos to create its signature waffle sandwiches. Choose from a pizza waffle, s’more or ham and cheese, which are made to order and take about three minutes.

April
The “gateway to East Lansing” got a little more welcoming with the opening of Jonna’s 2 Go, 210 E. Michigan Ave., East Lansing, a hybrid convenience store/carryout café/upscale liquor store. The 2,500-squarefoot building got a radical internal and external overhaul, including an attractive, futuristic brushed steel façade.

The Old Town General Store, 408 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing, features many Michigan-based goods, including Eden Foods, Zingerman’s breads and gelatos, and a variety of craft beers, wines and ciders.

May
Momentum Adventure Sports,
617 E. Saginaw Highway, Grand Ledge, opened not far from the Ledges to take advantage of the built-in foot (and bike and kayak) traffic. Merchandise includes kayaks, long boards, climbing gear, stand-up paddleboards, adventure apparel and disc golf accessories.

June
You might recognize Piggee’s Smokehouse and BBQ, 5021 W. Saginaw St., Lansing, by its new sign, a playful blend of the Autobot symbol and … a pig. Products include slow smoked barbecue beef brisket, baked macaroni and cheese and broccoli, bacon and cheddar salad.

After being shuttered for four years, Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern, 611 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing, re-opened with new owners, a retro look and a new concept, which relies heavily on craft beers and specialty cocktails.

July
The scratch Italian restaurant Tannin, 5100 Marsh Road, Okemos processes its own beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck and rabbit on-site. “I like to imagine how a classic Italian chef would run his kitchen if he were to come to Okemos,” owner/operator James Sumpter said.

August
Leaf Salad Bar,
1542 W. Grand River Ave., opened across from Frandor with the concept of “healthy fast food.”

HopCat-East Lansing, 300 Grove St., was part of a new wave of full-service dining options in downtown East Lansing. The restaurant/ brewpub opened on the ground floor of the mixed-use development, The Residences, and features a full menu and over 100 beers on tap.

Next door, Peppino’s Pizzeria and Sports Grille is the anchor business for the St. Anne Lofts, 213 Ann St., and features Italian and gastropub fare.

Capital Prime Steaks and Seafood, 2324 Showtime Drive, Lansing Township, opened on the north end of Eastwood Towne Center, replacing Bar 30. Specializing in upscale surf-and-turf fare, the restaurant features two private rooms, a regular dining room and a bar area called The Lounge.

Fireside Grill, 6951 Lansing Road, Dimondale, is the new restaurant/bar from the founder of Barley’s Bar and Grill.

September
Leopold Bloom & Co.,
523 E. Grand River Ave., is a home décor, housewares and antique store.

October
Master butcher Dominic Conigliaro makes all of the sausages and jerky in-house at Monticello’s Market and Butcher Block, 6912 Marsh Road, Okemos. The building underwent a massive sevenmonth reconstruction project, and features many Michigan products and organic and local produce.

November
Sam Dixon, owner of Chierie International Market, 304 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing, said he hopes to fill a niche for specialty imported food and connect with the roughly 18,000 African refugees in Lansing.

The independently owned Central Pharmacy, 1003 E. Mt. Hope Ave., offers compounds medication and fills prescriptions for both humans and animals. It also offers free delivery.

And there’s lots more to come in 2014, including a new grocery store on Lansing’s east side, as well as a pair of brewpubs and a new location for Dicker and Deal. Stay tuned.

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