TRAVERSE CITY — Welcome to the next generation of the family cottage.
Brothers and co-owners Eric and Scott Drossart moved their restaurant business — the former Cottage Cafe — down the street, taking over vacant property near the intersection of Munson Avenue and Eighth Street to open The Cottage. The building housed the former Mabel's Restaurant before it closed in December.
"This is the next step of the Cottage Cafe, the evolution," Eric said.
The reason behind the move was simple.
"To create our own space, my brother and I," Eric said. "My parents retired last year ... It's a change into our generation. This was available through the bank, and it was a great opportunity to own some land in Traverse City, Mich. It was a no-brainer."
The Cottage officially opened for business Friday after renovating the space. There is a fireplace in the lobby, wood chairs built in the 1890s rescued from decades of storage, and a living wall made of plants.
"There was a problem with the seating being very uncomfortable, the windows being ice cold, just a lot of touch points," Eric said. "We've been next door for 19 years. There are things you hear, and we addressed them. All new booths, we separated things correctly, access for families in wheelchairs and tables."
The restaurant, which used to seat more than 200, has been trimmed to about 150.
"We made it less crowded, less congested," Scott added.
All but one of the 15 employees from the Cottage Cafe followed to the new restaurant. Scott said they have 15 to 20 new hires — some from Mabel's — and hope to increase the work force to near 50 by the summer.
Some of the menu items also made the trip down Munson Avenue. The Drossarts reworked food selections with Executive Chef Michael Henriet, a former sous chef at 310.
"They asked for a revamp on the menu, and we all came together on what direction we would take," Henriet said. "They knew their customers better than I did. The three of us came up with a pretty excellent menu. We have high-end stuff, like Parmesan crusted whitefish, right down to an herb ciabatta turkey sandwich."
The menu features comfort-food favorites, too, he said.
Eric said many Cottage Cafe regulars stopped by the first few days The Cottage has been open.
A Mabel's regular, Dennis Webster, of Hattiesburg, Miss., gave his approval after dining there this week with his father.
"We were sad to see it go, but what happened to it now is a fresh reinvention of the idea," said Webster, a Kingsley native. "This is a good plan, a good operation."
Restaurant was named Cottage Cafe
TRAVERSE CITY — Welcome to the next generation of the family cottage.
Family of woman killed by drunk driver: 'It's just not fair'
Paul Shafer had questions for the drunk driver who killed his wife and mother of his three children. Did he know what it's like to take his children to a graveyard on Mother's Day? Did he know what it's like to have a young daughter ask, "'I don't have a mommy anymore?'"Continued ...
Severe weather possible this afternoon
The spring’s first severe weather could hit the Grand Traverse region today.Continued ...
Sewer rates likely to rise for city residents
City homeowners can expect their base sewer charge to jump over 6 percent beginning in July under a budget proposal before the city commission.Continued ...
Great weather draws thousands to NMC Barbecue
Mother Nature dished up a glorious day for the Northwestern Michigan College Barbecue, the college's annual fundraiser that attracts thousands to its wooded campus.Continued ...
A chance to learn about Peace Ranch
The Senior Center Network and Peace Ranch are partnering for a Spring Hoedown, with square dancing and live entertainment.Continued ...
Leelanau center upgrades old building
The Leelanau Community Cultural Center is keeping stride with modern technology while maintaining the original vintage charm of its Old Art Building.Continued ...
Northern Notes: Visitor seeks car ferry photos for DVD
Frequent northern Michigan vacationer Ted Hayes has put his love for the area into poetry and song and is moving forward with his second DVD featuring the area.Continued ...
- Sunday, May 19, 2013
New TC manager earned his gray along the way
Jered Ottenwess described himself during his interview for Traverse City manager as soft-spoken, lacking years of experience and perhaps not the most charismatic person.Continued ...
Ex-oil exec sees perilous energy future for U.S.
America is headed for an energy crisis filled with power blackouts and gasoline shortages, making today’s gas prices something to fear for in coming years.Continued ...
Townships settle 12-year-old lawsuit with Cherryland
Three holdout local townships finally settled a drawn-out tax dispute with Cherryland Electric Cooperative prior to a full hearing before the Michigan Supreme Court.Continued ...
Antrim officials make headway with meth convictions
Antrim County authorities answered a spike in methamphetamine activity with a series of arrests and convictions that they believe should send a message to meth producers and users.Continued ...
Benzie drug death leads to heroin charges
Authorities filed drug-dealing charges against a suburban Detroit man after a suspected heroin overdose death in Benzie County.Continued ...
Students recognized for math club performance
Thirty math-hungry East Middle School students recently made history. The group of seventh- and eighth-graders was the first at the school to achieve national gold level status for a club called MathCounts.Continued ...
Northbound Woodmere closed for two days
The city will shut down the northbound lanes of Woodmere Avenue from Eighth Street to Hannah Street for two days for maintenance of a city water line.Continued ...
- Saturday, May 18, 2013
Powerball ticket buyers hopeful as jackpot swells
Garrick Opie hasn’t purchased a Powerball ticket in more than a decade. But a jackpot that swelled to $600 million — the world’s second largest lottery prize — by Friday afternoon convinced Opie to throw in $20 toward the $2 tickets at the 7-Eleven store on 14th Street.Continued ...
Co-worker of fired tribal employees: ‘They should have known better’
A co-worker of the six tribal employees who shot a .22 rifle off their office building deck alleged they endangered a nearby residence, potentially polluted Lake Michigan with lead bullets, and violated human resources policy.Continued ...
Jury: Local attorney committed fraud
A jury ruled a local attorney committed fraud and malpractice in a case of a business deal gone bad.Continued ...
Man facing sex charges
A Traverse City man who faces child abuse and criminal sexual conduct charges also is accused of attempting to assault authorities who tried to arrest him.Continued ...
Model airplanes take off today in Thompsonville
If you’re in Thompsonville today, look up. Model airplane enthusiasts say you’ll be in for a treat.Continued ...
Trial scheduled for sex crime suspect
A Kalkaska man who faces 16 counts of criminal sexual conduct is scheduled to appear in court.Continued ...
Ex-local resident on 'Wheel of Fortune'
A former Frankfort resident will appear on the national game show “Wheel of Fortune.”Continued ...
- Friday, May 17, 2013
Parking garage rates to rise
The Downtown Development Authority authorized an increase in transient parking rates at the city’s two municipal parking decks.Continued ...
Ex-Traverse City Manager Lewis to head St. Joseph
The city of St. Joseph picked Traverse City's former Manager Richard Lewis as their next city manager.Continued ...
Heroin overdose kills man
Benzie County's struggle with fatal heroin overdoses continues. Authorities confirmed Justin Smith, 23, of Benzonia, was found dead Wednesday night of a heroin overdose. Law enforcement officials arrested a suspect in Smith's death, the fourth heroin-related fatality in the county since 2011.Continued ...
No food truck buffet rolled out on first day
Diners who hankered for food truck fare on the first day the mobile restaurants were allowed downtown came away hungry.Continued ...
- Family of woman killed by drunk driver: 'It's just not fair'