The Record Eagle wrote…

Thanks to Jason Gollan, who pushed me in the right direction with his comment, here is a good article that explains it all.  Of course you see, that still does not cover the “gossip” part of the story. You know the part where I know the players and start to understand the connections, etc.

Without further ado, please read and get excited:

“January 20, 2013

Sun To Shine On Stormcloud

New brew pub, brewery under construction in Frankfort

By Kathy Gibbonskgibbons@record-eagle.com

FRANKFORT — Jim Kunz has never been a landlord.

But he’s about to be.

Kunz is one of three partners in a new brew pub under construction in Frankfort, a project they hope will open in early summer. A part-time resident for the past 15 years or so, he’s teamed with photographer Brian Confer and Crystal Mountain executive Rick Schmitt on Stormcloud Brewing Co.

Schmitt currently is vice president of sales and marketing at Crystal and part owner of the historic Garden Theater in downtown Frankfort. He will leave his job next month to help run Stormcloud full-time. After spending the better part of the last decade “self-training” to brew beer, Confer said, he’ll be brewmaster with help from an experienced assistant. Stormcloud will specialize in Belgian ales.

Schmitt and Confer had long discussed the idea of opening a brew pub. Then along came Kunz. He and his wife, Kris, have had a home in Frankfort for the past 15 years, though they were part-time residents until Kris retired from teaching three years ago.

Now she’s there full-time and he comes and goes while he still runs an information technology and computer systems business with a partner in the Lansing and Detroit areas.

“My wife and I were trying to decide where we wanted to be investing and where we wanted to support,” he said. “I’m not a professional real estate advisor. We’re just figuring out it should be a good investment.”

The Kunzes bought the building at 303 Main, most recently home to the Caddyshack Golf & Resort Shop. It’s being renovated to house the pub. They also purchased adjacent vacant lots to be the site of the brewery, which is under construction.

“He came to the table and made it happen,” Schmitt said. “It seemed like everything fell into place.”

The new brewery is next door to the newly restored Garden Theater, which Schmitt said will create synergy. At a little more than 3,200-square feet, the space is divided between the brewery and the brew pub, which will have about 60 seats.

“Part of the beauty of this project is that because we are building on a vacant lot, we are also creating an outdoor beer garden right on Main Street,” Schmitt said. “That will have about 50 seats so during the peak summer season; we’ve got additional seating we don’t need in the wintertime.”

In addition to between 10 and 16 beers on tap, Stormcloud will have a limited menu including a signature flatbread pizza, cheeses and spreads and charcuterie.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled about it,” Confer said. “I think the potential is huge.”

And that’s how they and local officials sum up Frankfort. Planning commission Chair Bruce Ogilvie said there’s been steady progress on attracting new businesses to Main Street, including the recent completion of a three-story building that includes two retail stores on the main level and apartments and condo space above.

“We needed more opportunities for people to experience our small town and to have a reason to come to our small town for a unique kind of experience,” he said.

Joanne Bartley, executive director of the Frankfort-Elberta Chamber of Commerce, said Stormcloud will give people one more reason to make a point of visiting Frankfort.

“Frankfort is kind of hidden,” she said. “You don’t drive by it, you have to turn at the light to get here.”

And the community needs more year-round businesses, she added.

“In the winter, we still need things to do and places to go,” Bartley said. “A lot of people feel Frankfort is a tourist town, but we also live here.”

Main Street

The other day I went into town – it was positively deserted.  Only one other car besides mine was there

Frankfort. Feb 2013

And then I saw the new brewery going up/ being built between the Furniture Store and the Garden Theater.

Frankfort Feb. 2013
Lots of new and exciting things are going on in Frankfort and Elberta and they all have to do with alcohol, heehee.

Down where the Kilwin’s store and Dinghy’s are, there will be a wine bar.  I don’t have details on either of these two new businesses, but I am planning on doing some sleuthing this coming week

The Beach this Morning

It is so dry and hot this summer, my flower boxes, even with the help of twice daily watering, are having a tough time making me happy.  So today, for the first time this season,  I bought Miracle Grow 😯

My plan was to keep my flowers fed with the help of a daily dose of coffee grounds. That actually works very well but now my flowers are pooped.

Long story short, I went into Frankfort to the Hardware store on Main Street and got the stuff.  One never goes into Frankfort without making the loop at the end of Main Street.

The beach was deserted this morning at 9:30.  Some birds were at the water’s edge and there were 2 guys playing with their paddle boards

 

Grey vs. green and shady

The beach is only about 600 yards away and the stairs are really almost done. Yay

Bathing Suits…

…have been mothballed again.  42 degree weather was a fluke.  Just look at the snow we got 2 days ago

As usual, don’t forget to click on the pictures once or twice to see all the details!

A lonely bench waiting for the first warm butt 🙂

The streets of Frankfort on March 8th, 2011 –

Main Street heading away from the beach

So much snow in one day, when we were all thinking of planting bulbs…

There you have it.
I think I heard  the weatherman say that there’s more snow coming today, blah.

Pizza for Dinner…

…is what brought us into town this evening.  We picked up the pies, stashed them away in the car and decided to take a walk up Main Street in Frankfort, heading for the beach. We saw a whole lot of good stuff. So without further ado –

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The weather today was perfect for a long walk.  And on the way we saw a lot of friends that were doing the same thing – enjoy the beach and a walk through town.  So much so that we got stopped numerous times to chat and give opinions, hehe – Kelly Stapleton stopped in the middle of Main Street to ask me if I thought that her truck made her look fat :mrgreen:

Out!

Alright, I made myself go out other than only visiting my buddies at Glen’s Market and spending money for the daily supply of sustenance for my people.

So off to Frankfort – first shopping for food, then up Main Street to see what Lake Michigan looks like.

When I came out of the Market I noticed that 5 of my friends were freezing cold, heehee.

Mickey looked like a Popsicle

Then I looked at the lake.  It looked good, cold and gray.  The sky was gray as well, only a tad bit lighter. The short pier has begun to freeze.


And look, there is ice between the south and the north pier – the harbor is freezing!

Dinner at the Coho Cafe’

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Most of you know that the Coho Cafe is one of my very favorite restaurants in this area.  We love what they offer, we love the location, the set up, the food.  It’s not pretentious only delicious.   For an appetizer I had the scallops with orange salsa, followed by seared yellow tail tuna, which they left “un-seared” for me. I don’t like cooked fish too much.  Everything was scrumptious.  Mike had a steak with smashed potatoes which he loved. Our friend Jan had the special which was some fish wrapped and steamed in grape leaves, she loved it.  Kathy had the duck and she enjoyed that very much.  For desert Kathy  and I each had the chocolate bread pudding. Yummmmm…

As usual, my greedy self forgot to take pictures of the food.  I can assure you it was all good 😉

Below, the restaurant as seen from my seat.  Looking towards the bar.  See the 3 boys in the picture?  They were part of a group of 7 kids and one adult.  The adult was from Australia, he had his son with him and 6 of his friends, who all live in Singapore.  The Australian had come here  to visit friends a few  days ago, loved it so much, he bought a house on Crystal Lake.  Must be nice to turn around and buy a property for a million dollars or more as a vacation home.  I can only dream.

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Jan, Mike and Kathy

Jan, Mike and Kathy (I am not sure why I had such a hard time getting a good picture of Jan, she made all kinds of faces all night long, heehee)  I have a really bad one which I shall keep in my photo library for use at a later date 😉

Main Street facing east. Pretty busy

Main Street facing east. Pretty busy already.

In short, do not miss eating lunch or dinner at the Coho Cafe’.  They don’t have a website but who cares.  Their menu is wonderful, the service is wonderful, the food is wonderful and the drinks are outstanding.

Go there!

231.352.6053

It is located in downtown Frankfort, across the street from Moomers ice
cream shop and next to the Book Store!