A Walk Around the Corner

Thunder Bay Winery

The sun was high in the sky, and the temperature hovered in the high sixties, which in Up-North terms equates to a beautiful day in September. During these uncertain times of COVID, I took a walk around the corner of Howard and Mitchell Streets, and thought, as we resist some new COVID variants, let’s visit some new businesses.

First stop, “Big Red’s Nutrition & Fitness of Petoskey” at 417 Howard Street. I met Trisha and her two children hosting at the counter.

Big Reds

“I’m not the owner, but I am a personal trainer at HOM Social outside of town,” she volunteered. “When the owners, who also have a store in Cadillac, looked at the space and the proximity to the gym, they thought this was perfect.”

The shop is packed with nutritional supplements, fitness attire, and some minor implements. The resurfaced wooden floors and the spacing of the merchandise offer a spectacular visual experience for the shopper.

Outside and up Howard, I walk into “Elevate Medical Spa” where Larisa awaits. She refers me to Marti Goetz, FNP-C who is the clinician and owner of the clinic.

“We also have a clinic in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,” Marti notes. “And we’ve been there about thirteen years. Prior to that, in Gaylord; so, when we decided to open here in Petoskey, we looked at the schools and the sports. We moved here.”

Besides being an advanced Family Nurse Practitioner, Marti is also a Master Injector and has been for ten years. She describes their focus as “skin rejuvenation and youthful appearance.”

“We’re in the business of making people feel better about themselves without overdoing it,” she adds. “Sometimes, less is more.”

Lastly, Marti points out that she has “thirty years of medical experience.”

Around the corner and onto Mitchell Street, there’s the new “Musik Haus.” Steve is behind the counter and says, “Gary Kersting, a prof at NCMC bought the old music store on Lake Street and moved it over here. It’s bigger and brighter, here.”

Steve also notes they have a store in Gaylord.

“We still do instruction. Some of the private instructors rent space for their students,” he clarified.

They have a large inventory of instruments, accoutrements, and “We are a Taylor guitar dealer,” Steve proudly says as he points to the wall of stringed instruments.

Continuing up Mitchell Street, “North Harbor – Christie’s International Real Estate” sits with inviting photos of available properties.

This business was in Boyne City as a Remax but moved to Petoskey and became an affiliate of Christie’s. Yes, that is the same company as the famous auction house and fine arts dealer. That is why right here on Mitchell Street in Petoskey, we can look at and purchase real estate anywhere in the world.

Elevate spa

Walking past “Center City Gym,” I must note that while not a new business, there is a new owner, Michael Goyne. In full disclosure, I have been a member here since 2008, and I have noticed some small nuance changes, but the same equipment and friendliness remain.

Finally, and most appropriately at the end of a walk, I stroll into the “Thunder Bay Winery.” Tara and Em are serving some folks at the wine bar. As I look around, I notice cases of wine and associated high-end gift items.

Tara walks over and says, “The owners looked around, and Petoskey stole their heart.”

When asked who the owners are, “Janis and Jeremy Sahr. In Alpena, they’ve had vineyards for fifteen years and wine for ten.”

I was curious about the type of wines they specialize in.

“We do a lot of dry reds; medium and full-body,” Tara describes.

“There’s a lot of earthiness to them,” notes Em.

Tara went on to emphasize: “We’ve essentially been doing a soft opening. We’re waiting to ramp up inventory as we ramp up advertising and finish the interior.”

I was tempted to stay and imbibe, but no. I walked back into the sunshine and marveled at the resiliency of Downtown Petoskey. The summer has been tempestuous, at best, with fabulous weather but marked by the inconsistencies of life-after-COVID. We struggle through, but when we open our eyes, there are new faces and new opportunities on the horizon. Just as these new businesses have done, take a walk on a glorious fall day, and imbibe in the glow of our future.

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