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Wednesday, February 12,2014

New In Town

Moriarty´s Bar/Marie´s Custom Decor/Elite Gamers

by Allan I. Ross
Last month, Michael Moriarty sold his downtown Lansing bar, Moriarty’s Pub, to two of his longtime employees: Joy Allswede and Carolyn Baron. From 5 p.m. to close this Sunday, the former owner will throw his own going away party to say goodbye to the business he owned for 34 years.

“I’m 66, I bought it when I was 25, but it’s not the same for me anymore,” he said. “I’ve lost interest — it’s time to go.”

Moriarty said business will continue as usual. He is hanging on to Stober’s Bar next door, which he co-owns with three other partners.

“All I need there is a bartender and a door guy,” he said. “It’s a totally different operation from Moriarty’s. It’s a lot easier to run.”

Moriarty owns a townhome in Florida where he plans to spend the rest of winter, but he swears he’ll be back come sailing season.

“I’ve still got my boat here (on Lake Michigan), so I’ll still be hanging out there this summer,” he said. “This isn’t a goodbye party — it’s a good riddance party. Good riddance to me.”

Designing woman You might be getting cabin fever right about now from staring at the same four walls for the last 12 weeks (what a winter!), bugging out about how those stupid curtains just don’t match the wallpaper or how much better that couch would look with a couple of extra throw pillows.

But if the fifth living room rearrangement of the season just won’t do it, then maybe a little interior design tweaking is in order. Marie’s Custom Décor Studio, a new business in the Lansing Mall, combines basic home furnishing supplies and custom interior decorating with European sensibilities.

“I work with people within all budgets,” owner/operator Marie Mougnoungou said. “My specialty is in custom handmade window treatments, but I’ll do pillows, chairs, whatever someone has an idea for in their home.”

In 2007, Mougnoungou came to America from Gabon, a French-speaking republic on the west coast of Central Africa. Over the years, positive wordof-mouth fueled an increase in demand for the custom-made work she’d done on the side, inspiring her last year to open Marie’s, a 2,000-square-foot store in Meridian Mall across from Schuler Books & Music.

“I’ve worked with furniture and textiles for 18 years, and I wanted to try working for myself,” she said. “My dream is to be an architect and own a full services custom interior designer store someday.”

Marie’s also stocks antiques and brand name furniture from Europe, Australia and Asia.

From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, Mougnoungou will hold an open house to show off her furniture and show samples of some of the work she’s done. There will also be refreshments.

“I want to introduce people to our store and show them they can do a lot to make their homes looks beautiful for not a lot of money,” she said. “I make it very easy.”

Get in the game When Tony Cantin lost his job last year, his son suggested he start working for himself. Within a month, Elite Gamers was up and running.

“I’ve been dealing with electronics since my time in military, so I figured I’d open an electronics store,” he said. “And my son is familiar with gaming, so I turned half of it into a gaming center. It’s all worked out pretty well.”

On the game side, he has six stations with mounted flatscreen TVs, PlayStation 4s and an Xbox One. He also buys and sells games. On the repair side, he said business is booming.

“Everyone’s’ dropping their iPhones,” he said. “Broken glass everywhere. But I’m fast, inexpensive and I know what I’m doing.”

Marie’s Custom Décor Studio (inside Meridian Mall) 1982 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Saturday; noon-6 p.m. Sunday (517) 242-9852, facebook.com/ maries.customdecor

Elite Gamers 2709 W. Michigan Ave., Lansing 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday (517) 575-6841, elitegamersllc.com

Moriarty’s Pub 802 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday (517) 485-5287, moriartyslansing.com

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