More changes are underway in the Traverse City area restaurant scene...
The owner of Opa! Coney & Grill has taken over the space formerly occupied by JP’s Hard Luck Diner on Front Street near the Holiday Inn. Paul Barbas plans to revamp the restaurant and open an Opa establishment April 1.
While it's too early to release specifics, Barbas plans to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a full bar.
“We are envisioning some cool things in here,” he tells The Ticker.
Barbas will continue to operate his Opa! Coney & Grill in the Cherryland Center on Garfield Avenue. He also owns The Metro Coney & Grill near Chums Corner.
Chef JP Pellar operated JP’s Hard Luck Diner for years after moving it a few doors down from his original Front Street location. The restaurant shut down mid-February.
TraVino Shuttered/Schelde’s Gets a Facelift
TraVino Traverse Wine & Grille on M-72 East in Williamsburg closed this past Monday, a spokesman confirmed.
Mike Trubac, a regional director for Schelde Enterprises Inc., said Howard Schelde and his partner, who’ve been in business for 50 years, are ready to retire. He couldn't give more details, but says Schelde is expected to release a statement soon about the closure.
The restaurant specialized in Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish and French cuisine.
Meanwhile, Schelde’s Grille & Spirits on Munson Avenue will be getting a facelift this spring, Trubac says.
“We are shooting for April 1 to close to do the remodel. We’ll reopen for Easter and then be closed again for two to three weeks after that. It’s been 25 years since it’s had a redo inside. It’s time to make it look pretty again.”
The adjacent tavern will stay open throughout the revamp, he adds.
Georgina’s Now Open
In downtown Traverse City, Georgina’s, an Asian and Latin Taquería, is officially up and running at 439 E. Front St. It was formerly occupied by 9 Bean Rows Café, which closed in December (at that time, owners Jen and Nic Welty were looking for another location to reopen).
Chef Gregory Anthony Craig was born in Bluefields, Nicaragua. According to his website, his father is Cuban and his mother half Chinese and half Nicaraguan. At age seven, he was adopted by his American father and raised in Tampa. Georgina’s is named after his cousin, Georgina Alvarez.
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 943-1555 to make reservations. Click here for a taste of the menu.
New Owner For Pleasanton Bakery
There’s been a change of hands crafting the naturally-leavened breads at Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery in Traverse City. Founders Gerard Grabowski and Jan Shireman have sold the bakery to Jonathan St. Hilaire.
“Jan and myself are part of a wave of the early artisan food entrepreneurs who must pass on their crafts, brands and customer loyalty to fresh and innovative younger food artisans,” says Grabowski.
After starting the bakery more than 20 years ago in Manistee County, the couple moved the operation in 2007 to The Village at Grand Traverse Commons with a plan to grow it and then pass it on, he adds.
St. Hilaire comes to TC from Atlanta, but with Michigan connections. The classically-trained chef's past experience includes stints at Pavard's Patisserie and Bouley Bakery in NYC and owner of the former Bakeshop in Atlanta. St. Hilarie brings a passion for pastries and is expanding the bakery's sweet offerings. He describes the breads as “pretty close to perfection” but will be playing with more shapes, sizes and flavors, especially focused on 'in season' ingredients.
From food trailer to storefront
Bill and Laurie Walker have opened Lehto's Pasties at 720 W. Front (next to Ace Hardware) in TC, at the former location of Latte-Dah. Walker previously sold pasties out of a truck around town before purchasing the original Lehto's Pasties, in operation since 1947, in St. Ignace last year. The take-out only shop offers beef, chicken and vegetarian pasties. Hours are Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"Osteria" coming to Building 50
Construction has begun on a 40-seat Italian-style restaurant in Building 50. It'll be located across from Black Star Farms in the former Mana space. Owners Giorgio Lo Greco and Monica Cucoreanu plan to open in April.