Adjusting to the New Norm: It's been challenging to avoid cynicism, especially about eating and drinking and the many platforms, apps, posts, that pick each imperfect attempt apart, but there is so much new success out there. In spite of the odds, in spite of all of our cautious spending, I am shocked by the absolutely great execution going on. Start with the Labor Day Farm-to-Table event that brings thousands of people from all over the Lake Michigan area to southwestern Michigan. That event, a giant bridge-builder, is only three years old and the level of the chefs, the foragers, the producers, the total agriculture, is world-class. Think Tuscany, Napa Valley, French countryside, a hundred places you'll never be able to get to ever. You don't have to now.
Here is a Short List of New and Hot: The Bread + Bar in Benton Harbor, the re-opened Miller Bakery Cafe and Stray Dog Bar and Grill; The Buck Burgers & Brew; the Olive Cart has two tasting rooms in Michigan now---St. Joe and in South Haven; Miller Beach Marketplace. But the new and the hot can only exist because of the classics who formed the market in the first place. Bistro on the Boulevard is a wonderful restaurant to enjoy a killer meal or some appetizers and wine. As it has been since I can remember. The same with Tabor Hill where I spent the first Friday of a Memorial Day weekend that was such a glorious day I will never forget it as long as I live. The restaurant was only about a year old. And I'm pretty confident someone will visit Tabor Hill this weekend for the first time and they will be shocked by how terrific it is.
So, it's the official end of summer but just the start of Fall. And I want to congratulate all you foodie entreprenuers who took a chance and made a fresh start and attracted a lot of deserved attention and to all you stalwarts and classics who never tire of evolving and innovating to the surprise and delight of your customers. I know you will all be working hard this holiday weekend. And I am pretty sure you love it!