New in Town: Year in Review 2019

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The year 2019 was an optimistic one for businesses covered in the pages of City Pulse. Of the 36 covered by “New In Town,” only two didn’t make through the end of the year.

The most visible trend was the tidal wave of CBD products. Family Video went viral for bluntly advertising its CBD products on its signs, and Quality Dairy also jumped into the market. That’s without mentioning that basically every gas station in the state has a rack of CBD-infused gummies or energy shots. Adding to the dog pile are several shops you can visit that specialize exclusively in CBD-infused products. With the opening of Delta Wellness in October and Nature’s Kyoor just a few weeks ago, Lansing can probably expect more to come. Is it a disposable fad? The new year will act as the judge.

A well-known space at 2418 E. Michigan Ave., former home of Fish & Chips and its spinning sign, experienced a musical chair routine as Lee Lee’s Coney Island shuttered in May and was replaced by Amanecer Mexicano in October, which triumphantly debuted with a Mariachi band greeting customers. Down the street, Italian eatery Tannin finally opened in the former Tabooli location.

This year offered no doubt that food trucks will continue to be a staple in Lansing. Some of the new ones that hit the streets include Bangos, Everything is Cheesecake, Veg-N Food Truck and Habana Delights. StreetKitchen evolved into The People’s Kitchen and Pancho’s Taqueria and Smoke N’ Pig opened brick-and-mortar spaces of their own.

Lansing’s quirky REO Town continued to expand; the neighborhood saw the REO Town Marketplace provide a home for several unique businesses and consignment shops such as Odd Nod Art Supply. REO Town also gained Sleepwalker Spirits, NAILD and the Rusty Mug.

Downtown Lansing found a new chicken wing place in Mo-Wings, and Lugnuts fans have a reliable spot for giant, thin-crust pizza slices at Good Slice right across the street from the stadium. Both places have late night hours, providing some much needed support toward finding a place to eat downtown during hours that go beyond 9 to 5.

Okemos dived headfirst into the bizarre ax-throwing fad, as High Caliber Karting & Entertainment took over the former Younkers space at the Meridian Mall. Over at the Lansing Mall, Tequila Cowboy shut down and was replaced by another concert venue, OverDrive.

But to be hopeful for what’s new cannot come without lamenting what’s gone, and Lansing is losing some spaces with serious history between their walls. East Lansing’s Mackerel Sky is calling it quits, after criticizing the suffocating construction of a student-housing complex for driving away the business necessary for its survival. The Frandor Sears is on its deathbed, the original Biggby is moving out, Houlihan’s was bum-rushed out of the Lansing Mall in a U-Haul truck, Velocipede Peddler called it a day and Roma Bakery also said goodbye.

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