Cars fill the parking lot of Olympic Broil, no matter the time of day. The restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sunday. Photo by Kaley Fech.

Olympic Broil withstands the test of time

As he sits in his restaurant, Olympic Broil owner Mike Alexander interacts with almost every customer that walks through the door, and he knows many of them by name. Like a typical boy growing up in Michigan in the 1960s, Alexander spent his summer days wandering down to the river with his friends to drop a fishing line in the water and hang out. “One summer they were building the Dog n Suds,” Alexander said. “Being the young guys we were, my friend and I thought it was great to watch the welders work.”

At the time, Alexander had no idea he’d spend the majority of his life working in this very same place. Originally a Dog n Suds in the 1960s, Mike’s father Jim Alexander acquired the property at 1320 N. Grand River Ave.

Parking is available along the streets in Old Town, including Turner Street (pictured). Photo by Kaley Fech.

Old Town facing an old issue: problems with parking

Anyone who has ever been to a city has more than likely experienced the frustrations that come with trying to find parking. This problem is not isolated to bigger cities; even smaller communities experience such issues. More than likely, any place that attracts larger numbers of people will face struggles when it comes to parking. Old Town is no exception. During her day job, Jamie Schriner-Hooper, president of the board of directors for the Old Town Commercial Association, works in communities across the state.

Great Lakes Artworks is an artist owned cooperative gallery located in Old Town. Photo by Kaley Fech.

Great Lakes Artworks more than just an art gallery; it’s an art cooperative

From the outside, Great Lakes Artworks may simply appear to a passerby as a place that sells art. After all, that’s technically what an art gallery is. Darrell Taylor, director of the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art, states that an art gallery is any space that seeks to present art forms.

Great Lakes Artworks fits this definition. However, it is also so much more than that. Great Lakes Artworks has been an artist owned cooperative gallery since 2011.