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Anahata Yoga opens pop-up studio in Grandmont Rosedale


With business partner Regina Ward, certified yoga instructor Nicole Martin has opened Anahata Yoga in Detroit's Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood. The yoga studio, located at 19560 Grand River Ave., is part of the REVOLVE Detroit 90-day pop-up program. Martin and Ward have the opportunity to take that time to decide whether they'll remain open and make the transition to a permanent business.

According to Martin, the Grandmont Rosedale community has responded enthusiastically since the studio's grand opening on Sept. 20. It's a tight knit and supportive community, she says, one that has been waiting for a yoga studio for some time now. The people that have been coming to Anahata Yoga are people that live in the neighborhood but were forced to drive to suburban cities like Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Bloomfield Hills to get their yoga fix. Now, with the presence of Anahata, those people can practice yoga without leaving their neighborhood.

"This is a studio for the community," says Martin. "We want it to be accessible for people in the neighborhood. We keep prices low and offer some donation-based classes, too."

Martin is already envisioning opening up additional Anahata yoga studios in other parts of the city. The idea is to open in neighborhoods outside of the typical Midtown and downtown areas and make yoga accessible for under-served sections of Detroit. Martin hopes, too, that she'll be able to educate people, not just on yoga, but on wellness as a whole.

The studio focuses on hatha yoga, which is considered a basic yoga practice that teaches fundamentals. Classes are offered seven days a week and schedules are available on the Anahata website.

Anahata Yoga is one of two Grandmont Rosedale pop-ups in the REVOLVE Detroit program. Love Travels Imports, an artisanal crafts boutique, also opened a pop-up on Grand River Ave.

Source: Nicole Martin, owner of Anahata Yoga
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Artisanal crafts boutique opens second Detroit location in Grandmont Rosedale


It's been so nice she's tried it twice. Yvette Jenkins owns Love Travels Imports, an artisanal crafts boutique with a focus on fair trade products imported from all over the world. Her store, now firmly established along the Avenue of Fashion, got its start as a pop-up thanks to the REVOLVE Detroit program. Once the pop-up program was complete, Jenkins kept her shop open, becoming a fixture at 19452 Livernois Ave. Thanks to that same REVOLVE Detroit pop-up program, Jenkins has opened a second Love Travels Imports, this time in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood.

The newest Love Travels Imports is located at 19120 Grand River Ave. It's the storefront of the Grand River WorkPlace, a new business incubator and co-working facility. That organization's Katie Bramlage collaborated with Jenkins on the design of the shop, crafting, among other things, a counter made of recycled wood bits. Jenkins says that the design of the store is inspired by her dedication to fair trade products.

While the two locations share some inventory, Jenkins says that there are some products available only at the pop-up. In addition to featuring new artisans, Jenkins is selling more clothing items, like embroidered tunics and dresses, at the Grand River storefront.

She's rotating products from a different country every two weeks, with the first from Burkina Faso. Another new product is a line of necklaces fashioned from bullet casings. Farmers in Ethiopia are collecting bullet casings which are then transformed into beads. Ethiopian women with HIV and AIDS then fashion the bullet casings into beaded necklaces.

While there is no guarantee that the pop-up will lead to a second permanent location, Jenkins acknowledges that it's a possibility. The pop-up model has worked before. "It's a great opportunity to test the concept in another historic neighborhood," she says.

Source: Yvette Jenkins, owner of Love Travels Imports
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Learn how to submit a successful Knight Cities Challenge application at Wednesday Q&A


Interested in getting money for your idea to make Detroit a more vibrant city? The Knight Cities Challenge will be making grants totaling $5 million for just those kinds of ideas. And on Wednesday, Oct. 15, local and national representatives of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will lead a dialog that will provide information to those interested in applying for Cities Challenge funds.

The Q&A session will take place this Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the NextEnergy building in New Center, which is located at 461 Burroughs St. Carol Coletta, the Knight Foundation's vice president of community and national initiatives, and Katy Locker, the Knight Foundation's Detroit program director, will lead the forum, offering tips on how to best prepare an application to meet the Knight Foundation's goals, as well as how applicants can improve their odds of winning funds for their projects.

Knight Cities Challenge is open to everyone, from city government to local activists, and will grant money to innovators in 26 cities throughout the United States, including Detroit. Applications opened Oct. 1 and will be accepted until Nov. 14.

"No project is too small -- so long as your idea is big," says Coletta. "Our hope is to inspire people -- even those who have not previously thought of themselves as civic innovators -- to get involved in shaping the future of their cities."

The challenge is specifically crafted to be accessible to the general public and not just professional grant writers. Everyone is encouraged to apply as long as their project occurs in the city of Detroit and addresses one or all of the issues of talent, opportunity, and engagement. The Knight Foundation is looking for ideas that address how Detroit can attract and keep the best and brightest population, how the city can boost economic activity for everyone, and how to better connect and involve citizens in their collective future.

Source: Knight Cities Challenge press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Midtown Interior Finishes to open showroom in the Auburn


In the short time since Mike Barry succumbed to his entrepreneurial bug and started his own commercial and residential interiors business, he's landed some pretty high profile Detroit clients, expanded into new markets, and signed the lease on a space for his first showroom, which is set to open later this month in Midtown's Auburn building.

Barry, with over a decade of experience in the commercial interiors industry, left his job as a sales representative for Mohawk Industries to work as an independent sales agent. It didn't take long before he started his own business, Midtown Interior Finishes, in Feb. 2014.

Commercial interiors, as Barry tells it, are in his blood. He's already landed notable Detroit jobs like the Inn on Ferry Street, the G.A.R. building, and the new retail store Frida in the Park Shelton. But it's his expansion into the residential market that has pushed Barry to open his own showroom.

"I've really worked hard to curate the selection," says Barry. "People can come in and see the best of the best. We're not offering everything, just the coolest and most stylish products."

Barry's products include everything from ceramic and porcelain tiles to bamboo flooring, from a small area rug for a home to a big carpet installation at a law firm.

Since February, he's been renting a desk at the TechTown co-working space, Junction 440, but will move operations to the Auburn once his space is ready. The showroom will open by the end of the month -- if not sooner, he says.

Midtown Interior Finishes will be operating out of Suite 111, the old Butcher's Daughter art gallery space. That gallery, which left Ferndale for Midtown in 2013, has left Michigan altogether and is preparing a space in New York City.

Source: Mike Barry, owner of Midtown Interior Finishes
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Community block party announced for West RiverWalk grand opening

Morning joggers, lunchtime power walkers, and anyone out for an evening stroll have the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to thank for an additional 20 acres of the popular RiverWalk park system. The group is celebrating its latest success with a grand opening party Saturday, Oct. 4.

Happening between 1 and 8 p.m. at 1801 W. Jefferson Ave., the community block party is free and open to the public. Live music, food trucks, and a beer tent will fuel the revelry with family-friendly activities planned for those with children.

This is the first portion of the RiverWalk to extend west of Joe Louis Arena. The path is interrupted by the Riverfront Towers Apartments and its marina and picks up after, running between the Detroit River and W. Jefferson Avenue to Rosa Parks Boulevard. It's marked by the familiar features found along the existing RiverWalk, including new lighting, rails, and promenade.

The promenade of the western stretch has been widened to 30 feet, allowing fishers to cast their lines while worrying less about the speeding bikers weaving in and out of their path. Marc Pasco, director of communications for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said in an interview conducted earlier this summer, "Fishermen have always loved that location. This will give them some extra room."

Much of the western stretch of the RiverWalk is defined by a large lawn ideal for lounging, sports, or concerts. This year's edition of the annual KEM Live at Mack and Third benefit concert was held at the western RiverWalk on Aug. 24. The concert series, formed by Detroit performer KEM, has raised food, goods, services, and awareness for the city's homeless population since 2009.

The opening of this latest extension brings the conservancy one parcel of land closer to completing its goal of the RiverWalk running from Gabriel Richard Park to the Ambassador Bridge.

Source: Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Frida Kahlo-inspired clothing boutique to open in Midtown's Park Shelton building


Though relatively brief, artist Frida Kahlo's time in Detroit from 1932 to 1933 continues to be a source of inspiration for many Detroiters. During that period, she and husband and artist Diego Rivera stayed in what's now called the Park Shelton, and it's there where Rachel Lutz, proprietress of that same building's Peacock Room, will open Frida, a clothing store that draws inspiration from Kahlo, her style, and the time she spent in Detroit.

Frida is the everyday extension of Lutz's vision, expanding her women's clothing collection to include jeans, leggings, shirts, and sweaters. Lutz uses words like 'eclectic' and 'modern,' 'boho' and 'ethnic' to characterize her new store, saying that just as it's hard to put Kahlo in a box, her new store can be hard to describe. She has big plans for the space itself, too, and promises it to be unlike any shop in the area.

It was a single sweater that inspired Lutz to open Frida, spotted at a trade show while picking out clothes for a new season at the Peacock Room. It was bold, fun, and lively, she says, multi-colored and very textured. It wasn't, however, something you'd find at the Peacock Room, so she passed. She regrets that decision now, having never been able to find that sweater again. But it did get Lutz thinking, and it's what inspired her to open Frida.

“It's a lesson to myself and to customers. What's here today is gone tomorrow,” says Lutz. “But that's what makes shopping fun. You have to get it while it's here.”

Frida will replace Lutz's other store, Emerald, a gift boutique that sometimes sold men's accessories. The Woodward-facing storefront was supposed to be a 6-month pop-up, says Lutz. It ended up staying open for two years. Popular products from that store will continue to be carried at the Peacock Room.

Lutz had a soft opening for Frida during this most recent Dlectricity festival. A grand opening is planned for Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. Brief openings and appointments may occur in the interim.

Source: Rachel Lutz, proprietress of the Peacock Room, Frida
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Pop-up biergarten to occur in West Village Saturday, September 27


The West Village Biergarten is popping up Saturday, September 27. Hatch Detroit, the Villages of Detroit, West Village Association, Detroit City Distillery, and the Detroit Lions are teaming together to offer a day's worth of food, music, and craft beer, activating an empty lot on Van Dyke Avenue, adjacent to West Village Manor. The party runs from noon to 8 p.m.

The biergarten is a combination of events. Along with being one of West Village's contributions to the Detroit Design Festival, it's also an opportunity for Hatch Detroit to celebrate the recent work they've completed in West Village. Through their neighborhood initiatives program with the Detroit Lions, Hatch helped install new signage for West Village businesses and replace old gas lights with LEDs.

Many Hatch alums will be contributing to the pop-up. Algeria Pops, who made it to the top ten list in this year's Hatch contest, will be selling their Mexican ice pops. Gabriel Hall, a top four finalist in this year's Hatch contest, will be making their New Orleans food and playing their New Orleans music -- Gabriel Hall owner Dameon Gabriel leads the Gabriel Brass Band. Sister Pie, winner of this year's Hatch grand prize, will be hosting a pop-up at their own soon-to-be location at Parker and Kercheval.

"We try and keep track of our alums and see what they're doing on their own," says Hatch's executive director Vittoria Katanski. "We use them for events as much as we can."

Michigan beers including selections from Short's, Founders, Bell's, and New Holland will be on tap and spirits from the recently-opened Detroit City Distillery, located in Eastern Market, will be on hand. Cornhole, a popular tailgating game involving the tossing of bean bags into wooden boxes, will be set up as well.

Around the corner, new West Village coffee shop The Red Hook is planning a soft opening that same weekend.

Source: Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Michigan Audio Heritage Society Museum to celebrate grand opening


Record store owners are as much archivists as they are business owners, so it's fitting that one of Detroit's very own, Brad Hales of People's Records, is about to open a museum. The Michigan Audio Heritage Society Museum, or MAHS Museum, will debut this weekend. Located in a formerly unused room of the coffee shop/music venue/art gallery/community space Trinosophes, MAHS occupies its own storefront at 1464 Gratiot Ave.

Hales has been working on collecting material for the museum for the past 11 years. As he accumulated records for his store, Hales began to amass a sizable collection of local music ephemera, like historic posters and promotional materials. With the help of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge and Eastern Market Corporation, Hales is ready to open his museum.

Hales hopes MAHS will bring some much deserved attention to Michigan's musical legacy. While plenty of well-known music has come out of Michigan, Hales says that there's still so much that we don't even know about as Michiganders. He often finds himself learning about Michigan music from people who aren't even from here -- sometimes people on the other side of the world.

"There's a great deal of stuff that the rest of the world looks to us for that we might not even appreciate or know about ourselves," says Hales.

Hales is also cultivating a Detroit- and Michigan-centric Internet radio program, available to stream and download. The program will often co-incide with the rotating exhibits at the museum. 

The MAHS museum is free and will be accessible during Trinosophes brunch and performances. A grand opening is being celebrated by weekend performances from legendary Detroit jazz group Vibes From The Tribe, tickets for which are available at Trinosophes. The museum itself will be open 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, September 26, and Saturday, September 27.
 
Source: Brad Hales, owner of People's Records, Michigan Audio Heritage Society Museum
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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More state money for Detroit developments announced

Three Detroit developments are part of the latest round of projects to receive aid from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and its Michigan Strategic Fund. The approved projects are part of a larger group throughout the state. MEDC expects 11 developments to generate over $419 million in new investment and 1,471 new jobs across Michigan.
 
  • The issuance of private activity bonds has been authorized for the construction of an arena district between downtown and Midtown Detroit. With a new Red Wings arena as an anchor, the construction of the entertainment, residential, and commercial district is set to break ground this Thursday, September 25. The $450 million in private activity bonds were originally announced by the MEDC in July 2013. The group estimates that construction and construction-related jobs will total anywhere from 5,300 to 8,300 just for the arena itself. Half of those jobs will be filled by Detroit residents, as required by the initial agreement. Once open, the MEDC estimates 1,100 permanent jobs will be created by the arena.
  • The recently announced residential addition atop the 10-level parking structure adjacent to the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel is receiving $1,841,533 in Michigan Business Tax brownfield credits and $4,798,000 in Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based equity investment. 80 one-, two-, and three bedroom units are planned for the development. Three jobs are expected to be created.
  • Automotive supplier American Axle & Manufacturing is receiving a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to rehab a vacant building next to its headquarters to function as a technical center and showroom. A 12-year property tax abatement from the City of Detroit has also been offered to the company. 75 jobs will be created, says the MEDC.
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: A full service music instrument store in Midtown

Given Detroit's rich musical legacy, a lack of music stores throughout the city comes as a surprise -- and an annoyance -- to many a musician. Despite the fact that there are thousands of musicians who live and perform in the city, amateur and professional alike, there's nary a place where a drummer can pick up drumsticks before a gig or where a mother can buy a saxophone reed for a daughter who just joined band class.

Jen David is working to change that. If she has her way, guitarists won't have to drive to the suburbs for guitar strings anymore, and parents won't have to fight traffic as they bring their children to music lessons outside the city. She's starting Third Wave Music, a full service music instrument store that will be located in the Forest Arms apartment building in Midtown. Forest Arms is currently being renovated after a fire shuttered the building in 2008.

David says that the store will focus on accessories like strings, sticks, and reeds as well as music lessons. Locally made products, like instrument effects pedals and cigar box guitars, will be offered, too. David's partner Jeffrey Thomas will offer made-to-order instrument cables (musicians will be able to request specific lengths and specific jacks). Third Wave will sell used gear and offer instrument repair services as well.

For David, it's fulfilling a need for a community of professional musicians, independent artists, and local students that will be the most rewarding aspect of the business.

"The biggest thing is the absolute need for something like this in Detroit," says David. "We've already received so much support and positivity. With the musical legacy of Detroit, it's a resource that this community deserves."

A musician who also gives lessons, David knows first hand the challenges of commuting back-and-forth to the suburbs, currently a necessity for any musician living in Detroit.  

Third Wave Music is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Jen David, owner/operator of Third Wave Music
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: Pies, cookies, and more in West Village

While chefs and other head kitchen types often carry a moody intensity about them, that is decidedly not Lisa Ludwinski, owner and head baker for Sister Pie. She's big on fun, not serious -- at least when it comes to baking. These are pies and cookies, after all. They're supposed to be fun.

Browsing through Sister Pie social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram reveals that sense of fun. Ludwinski and her cohorts have been posting increasingly creative dance videos while they work. It's something that developed naturally out of the rigors of an average workday -- dancing away the stress. It's a positive release for Ludwinski and one that her customers have responded to.

Of course, dance videos wouldn't get Ludwinski too far if her pies weren't up to snuff. The pies are locally-sourced and reflect Michigan farmers and their traditions, says Ludwinski. While pies are old-fashioned and traditional, they also allow her to experiment with new flavors and techniques.

They're flying off the shelves at Parker Street Market, she says. And soon they'll be neighbors with the market, having secured a storefront across the street. For Ludwinski, West Village is the perfect location for the Sister Pie cafe. They're working on the space now.

"While I know wholesale production is a great source of income -- and it's something we'll continue to do -- I always wanted a storefront," says Ludwinski. "I want a community space in a neighborhood. A place where kids can come, where everyone can come, and watch the bakers make the pies."

Ludwinski hopes that the cafe will open April 2015. In the meantime, Sister Pie products can still be found at places like Parker Street. While construction is underway, she'll look to open a sort of pop-up, temporary counter at the storefront to get people used to coming to the West Village location.

Sister Pie is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Lisa Ludwinski, owner and head baker at Sister Pie
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: New Orleans food and music for Woodbridge

Dameon Gabriel comes from New Orleans music royalty. His family can trace its music roots all the way back to 1850s New Orleans and the eventual beginnings of jazz. The Gabriels moved to Detroit in the 1940s and they brought that New Orleans-style jazz music with them. Since the move north, generations of Gabriels have worked to preserve their New Orleans roots here in Detroit, maintaining a line of New Orleans-style jazz players that continue to play throughout the city.

Dameon Gabriel is working to cement that musical heritage and its place in Detroit by establishing Gabriel Hall, a bar, restaurant, museum, and music venue. He's partnered with Ederique Goudia, a Louisiana-born and raised chef who now caters throughout metro Detroit, to ensure an authentically Creole menu.

The bar will offer cocktails famous to New Orleans, like the Hurricane, a rum-based drink popular in that city's French Quarter. Gabriel is curating a wealth of family history into a mini-museum, where visual and audio displays will explore the musical connection between New Orleans and Detroit.

And then there's the music. Gabriel says that while the live entertainment won't always be New Orleans-style music, there will be certain nights of the month that will feature that famous sound. Gabriel himself plays trumpet in the Gabriel Brass Band. And when the band is offstage, expect Gabriel Hall to play New Orleans-style music throughout the venue, both old and new, from Louis Armstrong to the Rebirth Brass Band.

Gabriel is currently working to confirm a certain building in Woodbridge, one whose owner is already excited by the idea. He hopes to open in the summer of 2015.

"I'm surprised by how many people have already attached themselves to this idea and want to see it happen," says Gabriel. "I'm humbled by all the support."

Gabriel Hall is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Dameon Gabriel, co-founder of Gabriel Hall
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Bike and skateboard shop celebrates grand opening in Springwells neighborhood

What started in 2008 as an earn-a-bike program at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives has blossomed into Southwest Rides, a full service bike and skateboard retail shop with an experienced bicycle mechanic.

Through fundraising efforts, private donations, and a $25,000 grant from the Skillman Foundation, Southwest Rides was able to open a brick-and-mortar location in Southwest Detroit's Springwells neighborhood. Though the shop opened earlier this summer, Southwest Rides is hosting a grand opening celebration Saturday, August 16. The event is open to the public and will feature food, deals, and prizes.

Through the earn-a-bike program, members of the community complete maintenance courses, eventually taking a bike home after putting in a set amount of hours. Southwest Rides continues to offer the earn-a-bike program.

With the shop opening, the people behind Southwest Rides have expanded their educational programming to include an apprenticeship program. In addition to honing skills as bicycle mechanics, young people also learn business basics, from customer service to shop maintenance.

"There are a lot of components in running a small business," says Isaac Gilman, a board member with Southwest Rides. "This way the youth get practice and then later on they can apply what they've learned. They'll have something under their belts."

Of course, Southwest Rides is a business, too, with normal hours of operation for retail and maintenance. Gilman says that business has been good so far -- the skateboards are particularly popular with the young people in the neighborhood -- and they're hoping the grand opening event will help spread the word to other parts of the city.

The grand opening celebration is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 16 at Southwest Rides, located at 1824 Springwells St.

Source: Isaac Gilman, board member of Southwest Rides
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

First round of Hatch voting ends Thursday as 10 startups vie for $50K prize

The popular Hatch Detroit contest has entered its fourth year and the ten start-ups announced as semi-finalists are doing all that they can to garner votes. The eventual winner of the small business competition will receive a $50,000 grant and a suite of business support services.

Voting for the semi-finalist round is open to the public and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on August 14. Voters may select four businesses during the first round and may vote once a day. Voting for the second round will begin August 15, when the field of competitors is narrowed to four businesses. The eventual winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced August 20.

While there is only one winner, just making it into the top ten is a great source of exposure and motivation for businesses.

"Hatch has given us a faster pace to run to," says Jen David, co-founder of Third Wave Music. "I've been meeting new people and talking to many musicians and students excited for a new spot to get what they need and have support. It's been really encouraging to hear positive feedback. It's really motivating."

The semi-finalists are:Source: Jen David, co-founder of Third Wave Music
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Northern Lights Lounge adds a patio and brunch, continues to transform its street

As Northern Lights Lounge nears closer to its tenth anniversary this October, the New Center bar, restaurant, and venue has recently debuted a large patio. Detroit-based Steven C. Flum is the architect of record on the project.

Matching a facade grant from co-grantors Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, co-owners Michael Solaka, William Steele, and Greg "Kegger" Visee have opened a patio that they have been working on conceptually for about as long as the lounge has been open. Construction began in October 2013 and the patio is now open to the public.

The patio area, once an old asphalt parking lot, now features brick pavers, outdoor furniture, and three young trees -- an oak, a maple, and a poplar. At night, soft lighting and an outdoor speaker system complement the vibe found inside the lounge itself.

More outdoor furniture is coming, says Solaka, and he hopes to get a fire pit going sometime soon. An outdoor bar is a possibility, too. A few years on and a bordering wall will be covered in the young Boston ivy recently planted at its base.

"We haven't really designed the final product yet," says Solaka. "But we figured we'd get it done, live with it, and kind of see how people used it. And I've already learned a lot working out here while people are using it."

The lounge is debuting a Sunday brunch menu Sunday, August 3 -- another patio-related feature. Solaka reveals, too, that he is planning on constructing ten studio-loft apartments on the floor above the lounge, complete with balconies overhanging the new patio. He's also looking to fill the storefront adjacent to Northern Lights. Another ten years from now and 660 W. Baltimore and its block could look as different as it did ten years ago.

Source: Michael Solaka and Greg Visee, co-owners of Northern Lights Lounge
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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