4 Things You Need to Know About Detroit’s Eastern Market

Each week, thousands flock to Eastern Market to enjoy one of the most authentic urban adventures in the United States. The market, and the adjacent district, are rare finds in a global economy – a local food district with more than 250 independent vendors and merchants processing, wholesaling and retailing food. Learn more on this unique market via Joanna Dueweke of The Awesome Mitten

Most people are familiar with the bustling farmers market that overtakes Eastern Market each Saturday morning. It is the location of an enduring art scene, growing restaurant  district, and burgeoning retail location. It’s difficult to create an exhaustive list of everything going on in the market because things are always changing, events are always happening and locals are always full of surprises. In fact, Eastern Market is probably one of the only places in Detroit that doesn’t get much sleep. Monday through Friday, the wholesale market starts at midnight and runs until 6 a.m., supplying restaurants and consumers alike that are interested in buying bulk produce.

Markets aside, Eastern Market offers Detroiters, tourists and people from the region a place to celebrate the city’s legacy. Compiled here is just a few of the exciting things you can find at one of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the United States.

Multiple sheds make up the Eastern Market Corporation’s complex, but there is more to the district than just the markets that happen throughout the week.

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke.

1. Art is for Everybody

In the fall of 2015, Eastern Market Corporation, 1xRun and Inner State Gallery worked together to bring over 45 local and international artists to paint large-scale murals throughout the district for ‘Murals in the Market’. For people that have visited Eastern Market before, it is obvious that outdoor art is integral to the culture of the market’s landscape. However, Murals in the Market offered a unique opportunity for businesses and arts supporters to sponsor an individual piece from their favorite artist. Now, the art is a lasting reminder of the collective investment in the market and those that use it as a place of commerce, a place to live, and a place to play.

 

Murals (left to right) created by Ouizi (adopted by Sara Boyd) and Ryan Doyle, both presented by 1xRun and owned by Sweiss Imports.

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke.

2. Food That’s Prepared for You

Eastern Market is absolutely known for its produce and meat markets, but it is also known for and gaining traction with the restauranteurs and their avid followers. Although many of these places have been in the market for years, there are a couple newcomers that are rounding out the district’s offerings:

Bert’s Warehouse

Almost as iconic as Eastern Market itself, Bert’s Warehouse is a popular jazz bar and soul food restaurant that doubles as a concert venue. Bert Dearing, owner of Bert’s Warehouse, has been around for the last 29 years and has seen the many changes of Detroit first-hand. Make sure you check out the ribs, jazz, and other great events that happen in the theater!

Bert’s Warehouse is a great place to find BBQ on Saturdays during the farmers’ market. They have a full lineup of jazz and other musical acts on the weekends.

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke

La Rondinella

Recently, La Rondinella joined the Eastern Market family offering northern Italian fare for very reasonable prices. As an ode to his family’s heritage, Dave Mancini, owner of Supino Pizzeria, is creating an amazing experience for market-goers. Now, Eastern Market visitors have their choice of some of the tastiest pizza in Detroit next door to some of the tastiest Italian in the city.

La Rondinella is new to the Eastern Market team, but is already wowing people with an excellent food and wine menu joined by a superb lineup of craft drinks

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke

Cutter’s Bar and Grille

Name for the meat cutters that opened the bar, Cutter’s is a staple in Eastern Market that’s often overlooked. Although it might look like your average Detroit dive bar from the outside, the bar offers some of the best burgers around. It’s a little off the beaten path, but this is a spot to check out any day of the week for great food and awesome drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. Another bonus is that this spot is a great stop while visitors explore the many murals nestled throughout the district.

It’s an unassuming exterior, but the mouthwatering burgers and happy hour menu are not to be missed.

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke

Russell Street Deli

Known for its delicious sandwiches and fantastic soups that are now being sold as wholesale items in places like Whole Foods, Russell Street Deli is an important stakeholder in the Eastern Market restaurant family. The business is now over 25 years old, and Ben Hall and Jason Murphy, owners of Russell Street, began as dishwashers in the 1990s. Customers can eat well knowing that Hall and Murphy care about their employees because they pay well over normal pay level for restaurant workers and work to provide benefits like healthcare and retirement plans.

Open for breakfast and lunch, Russell Street Deli is a great place to stop any day of the week in Eastern Market

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke

3. There’s More Than Just Food

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More and more, retail is becoming a part of the fabric that makes Eastern Market function. Interestingly, the juxtaposition of places like DeVries & Co 1887 and DETROIT VS EVERYBODY (DVE) proves just how multifaceted the district is in its offerings and its customers. Not only can shoppers find almost any cheese they might desire at historic DeVries, but they can also represent their love for the city at outfitters like DVE and Division Street Boutique where the infamous Detroit Hustles Harder shirts are sold. If that’s not enough, there are letterpress shops like Signal Return and Salt & Cedar offering paper goods and classes for aspiring artisans.

 

DeVries & Co. 1887 offers the nostalgia that visitors desire when exploring all that is historic in Eastern Market

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke

 4. Outdoor Adventures

Officially opened in 2009, the Dequindre Cut connects the Riverfront with Mack Avenue and travels through Eastern Market. Built atop the former Grand Trunk Railroad line, the trail is 20-feet wide providing room for pedestrians and bikers, and it is lined by street art commissioned by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. During the second phase of the project (connecting Gratiot to Mack Avenue), the Dequindre Cut passes through Eastern Market and is adjacent to the newly created Detroit Market Garden. A project of Greening Detroit with funding from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the garden is a display of what can happen to a previously abandoned city block where stakeholders can learn how small-scale agriculture positively affects an urban environment.

Looking north, the Dequindre Cut is adjacent to the revitalized Detroit Market Garden and heads toward the growing bike thoroughfare

Photo courtesy of Joanna Dueweke

What are your favorite “characters” of Eastern Market? Tell us in the comments below!

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A writer and editor for The Awesome Mitten for the last five years, Joanna Dueweke is a proud Detroit resident and Traverse City-expat. Although the beaches of Belle Isle will never compare to the shores of Lake Michigan, Joanna is happy to live and work in a city like Detroit. When she’s not creating content for The Awesome Mitten, Joanna is playing soccer in the Detroit City Futbol League, organizing any number of community events including Detroit SOUP, cheering on the Detroit Tigers, or enjoying what the city has to offer.

 

 

5 Michigan Sunrise to Sunset Golf Itineraries

Summer is officially here and more daylight hours means more time to enjoy golf in Michigan.

Michigan is consistently named among the best golf destinations in the country and the long summer days make Michigan perfect for teeing off to a sunrise, finding incredible twilight pricing and ending your day as the sun sets over the landscape.  Read more on five sunrise to sunset Michigan golf itineraries to take advantage of this summer:

Crystal Mountain is beautiful no matter the time of day

Photo Courtesy of Janina Parrott Jacobs

1. Southwest Michigan

Southwest Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is home to several courses that attract golfers of all skill levels.  The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area offers courses where you can spend a sunrise to sunset golf day.

Sunrise

Start your morning with the views at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.  This Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course offers diverse terrain and a beautiful setting – three holes have Lake Michigan views, 11 holes border Paw Paw River, Ox Creek and its wetlands and four holes wind through rolling hills, ravines and a hardwood forest.

Afternoon

Over at Berrien Hills Golf Club, also in Benton Harbor, holes 6, 16, and 17 are adjacent to the scenic, tree-lined St. Joseph River. When you reach Berrien’s “19th hole,” it’s time to relax in the clubhouse with your favorite beverage and something delicious to snack on at Ray’s on the Green while appreciating your picturesque vantage point overlooking the course and river.

Berrien Hills is a beautiful rolling course

Photo Courtesy of the Southwest Michigan Tourist Council

Sunset

Lake Michigan Hills is always rated at the top of the Southwest Michigan public golf courses, and when  you can end your day enjoying a beautiful sunset, it’s a day well spent.

Lake Michigan Hills is one of many pristine Michigan courses

Photo Courtesy of Lake Michigan Hills

2. Northern Michigan

America’s Summer Golf Capital

Home to America’s Summer Golf Capital, this region has lured the world’s finest golf architects in search of the perfect setting to create 29 championship golf courses.

America’s Summer Golf Capital offers eight tours that are already assembled, so you can enjoy your golf vacation without the tedious planning.  For a premier sunrise-to-sunset experience, try the ‘Northern Gems’ and ‘Prestige & Awe’ tours.

Northern Gems

Start at Crystal Mountain at sunrise, choosing from the Mountain Ridge course, with fairways winding through stately forests and ascending to high elevations, or Betsie Valley, a course that will challenge the ability of any golfer with its protected greens, tree lined fairways and challenging bunkers.

Spend your afternoon at one of three courses at Grand Traverse Resort:  The Bear, ranked the 18th toughest course in America according to Golf Digest; The Wolverine, Gary Player’s first signature course in Michigan; or Spruce Run, the resort’s original course that is both fun and challenging to play.

End your day taking in the scenic views and incredible sunsets over Grand Traverse Bay at LochenHeath -  a private course that offer limited outside play. LochenHeath is a Scottish links-style golf course meticulously carved from a 300-acre cherry orchard.

3. Shanty Creek, Bellaire

Part of America’s Summer Golf Capital, Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire has four full-length courses that feature a variety of challenges for the bucket list golfer to the beginner, where you can easily spend an entire day golfing.

The Summit course offers beginners several PGA-led initiatives to ease players into the game including forward par-three tees on every hole and big 18” cups on every green (in addition to standard cups).

Sunrise

Start your day at Cedar River Golf Club.  Cut through the hardwoods of Antrim County, the early morning light casts incredible shadows while wildlife of all kinds wakes up. The playability and design of this Tom Weiskopf course deserves every accolade it has received including “Top 10 Michigan Public Courses” (Golf Magazine) and “Top 1,000 Golf Courses in the World” (Rolex Timepieces).

Enjoy twilight golf at Shanty Creek Resorts

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

Afternoon and twilight rates

Schuss Mountain Golf Club is an often-overlooked northern Michigan gem that plays like two distinct nine-hole courses: the front nine weaves through pine dotted forests while the back nine ascends and descends over the rolling hills of Antrim County. And with twilight rates beginning at 1 p.m., it’s worth putting on your short-list of courses to play.

All four of Shanty Creek Resort’s courses offer twilight rates with cart:

  • $20 Summit GC after 1pm;
  • $30 Schuss Mtn GC after 1pm;
  • $40 The Legend GC after 3pm;
  • $40 Cedar River GC after 3pm;

Sunset

The Legend by Arnold Palmer has incredible sunset views over Lake Bellaire, and with twilight rates at $40 after 3pm, it’s a steal too. If your round ends before the sun goes down, directly across the parking lot from the Pro Shop is The Lakeview Restaurant and Lounge with its wall of windows with a panoramic westward view of Lake Bellaire and the setting sun.

4. Mid-Michigan

Mt. Pleasant’s Michigan Central Swing, courses and 12 retreats and offers golfers and travelers a reservation service that makes booking your trip easy.

Morning

Pine River Country Club is a private course in Mid-Michigan, where the grounds are mature and every hole offers a different challenge.  Fair for all levels of golfers, the course is cut out of a variety of terrain including trees, hills and the Pine River.  The length of the course is 6615 yards.  It will challenge you at every turn.  You will never tire of playing Pine River.

Limited play makes for a very accessible course.  Tee times are the exception rather than the rule and league play never dominates the course.

Afternoon and twilight rates

Head to Bucks Run Golf Club, where a Jerry Matthews’ designed course hosts 18 challenging, yet playable holes, artfully sculpted fairways and tee boxes, soft sand bunkers, and more. The course also features river frontage, picturesque lakes, and natural wetlands coming into play on numerous holes.

Mt. Pleasant's Bucks Run is a challenging course in the heart of Michigan's Lower Peninsula

Bucks Run, Photo Courtesy of the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Every day after 3:00 p.m., Bucks Run offers a twilight rate of $23 off (Monday – Thursday) or $33 off (Friday – Sunday).

Want a later tee time?  After 4:30 p.m. the rate drops $20 from the 3:00 p.m. rate.

Sunset

If you are planning to take advantage of the twilight rates at Bucks Run, you’ll have ample time to play great championship golf before the sun sets around 10 p.m.   After, take in the views and grab a bite to eat on the outdoor patio

{Picture:  18th hole at Bucks Run}

5. Calhoun County

Home to Battle Creek, Marshall and Albion, it’s easy to spend a few days exploring some of the area’s 11 golf courses.

Morning

Start off at Riverside Golf Club in Battle Creek, where you will see the sunrise over the Battle Creek skyline.  Known for its excellent greens and great location, Riverside is an 18-hole, par 72 course designed by W. Bruce Matthews and Jerry Matthews.

Afternoon

Gull Lake View courses in August offers five gorgeous and challenging courses: Gull Lake View East, Gull Lake View West, Bedford Valley, Stonehedge South, and Stonehedge North.  At Gull Lake View you can play a round in the morning and then play a different course in the evening at a discounted price.

Gull Lake's greens are perfect for any skill level

Gull Lake, Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Sunset

End your day at the Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, a championship golf course that has hosted multiple statewide championships and U.S. Amateur qualifiers, where the landscape and scenery is reminiscent of Northern Michigan and you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of a peaceful summer evening.

What is your favorite Pure Michigan golf course? Share with us by commenting below!

5 Reasons to Visit Frankenmuth This Summer

If you’re looking for family fun with a German twist, look no further than the Christmas town of Frankenmuth. Between water parks, small-town strolls and the world’s largest Christmas store, there’s so much to do in Michigan’s Little Bavaria.

Read more on five reasons to visit Frankenmuth this summer, courtesy of the Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

1. Outdoor adventure awaits you!

Frankenmuth has long been known for chicken and Christmas, and while we still have those things (see numbers 3 and 4), there’s also many opportunities for outdoor adventure, you just have to know where to find it. Zip line through the trees at Frankenmuth Adventure Park on a zip line & ropes course and then hit the water. Frankenmuth Outfitters offers kayak and paddleboard rentals right out of Heritage Park. Paddle along the scenic Cass River and take in the sights. If riding sounds more appealing, try the Bavarian Belle Riverboat cruise, a 150 passenger traditional paddlewheel style boat, or for a more intimate setting, sip wine and taste handmade chocolates on the Frankenmuth FunShips.

The Frankenmuth Adventure Park offers many fun and active challenges

Photo Courtesy of the Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau

2.Unique & Local Shopping

Summer is the perfect time to shop in Frankenmuth. Revel in the charming setting of the River Place Shops, with over 40 unique boutique style shops, located in the heart of downtown. Take in the Bavarian architecture, enjoy a wine tasting or sample homemade mouth-watering fudge. Be sure to wander up and down Main Street to take in the beautiful flowers spilling over from every hanging plant and garden while stopping in at the one of a kind stores.

3. Christmas in July… And All Year Round

Arguably one of the most popular U.S. holidays, skipping a trip to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store, would be unheard of. Definitely plan on spending a couple hours there, and as founder Wally Bronner would say, “It’s free to enter, it may not be free to leave.”

Bronner's is a Christmas paradise all year-long

Photo Courtesy of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland

4. Family Style Chicken Dinners

There is no way a top five list would be complete without including the world famous, all-you-can-eat chicken dinners from Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. There is a reason why hundreds of thousands of people visit there each year.

World-famous chicken dinners can be found at Frankenmuth's Bavarian Inn

Photo Courtesy of Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan

5. #SeeFrankenmuth Photo Contest

We love seeing how our visitors discover Frankenmuth through photography. Now through July 31st, hashtag your Frankenmuth photos with #SeeFrankenmuth for a chance to win $100 in Frankenmuth Money or the Grand Prize of a two-night stay at the hotel of your choice* and $200 in Frankenmuth Money. There’s no better time to take a vacation to Frankenmuth. Click here for full contest details.

Now that you’re ready to visit Frankenmuth, be sure to visit Frankenmuth.org and try out the handy trip planner. It allows you to easily plan your trip and share your itinerary with the lucky friends and family you choose to bring.

Don't miss the chance to enter the #SeeFrankenmuth Photo Contest

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @trever_west

We cant wait to see you this summer in Michigan’s Little Bavaria!

What do you love most about Frankenmuth? Share with us by commenting below!