A variety of businesses in Old Town participate in Old Town 4-3-50. Photo by Kaley Fech.

Old Town 4-3-50 helps keep money in the community

For areas like Old Town, it is essential that they keep money within their local community. Many of the businesses are owned and operated by individuals who rely on their business for their livelihood. This is easier said than done. However, the Old Town Commercial Association has devised a program with the hope of keeping money in Old Town. Old Town 4-3-50 is a project within community, and its goals are to support the businesses in the neighborhood and keep money in the community, according to the OTCA’s website.

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Interns making an impact in Old Town

Old Town Commercial Association interns are making their mark in Old Town. Helping with events, talking with sponsors and working on the newsletter are all just a few tasks they help with to grow the neighborhood.

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Some Old Town residents see a need for more neighborhood eateries

Folks from around Old Town can tell you all the time that having such a close community and successful small businesses are what makes Old Town so unique, different, and almost complete. However, there is one thing that a few residents wish to see in the nearby future. Andrea Kerbuski, one of the few residents in Old Town believes there is a lack of restaurant options in the area. Sweetielicious is set to open and it is the type of place needed in the area to balance out the existing restaurants and provide residents with more options. “It is hard to get into places like Golden Harvest and we need at least another five more food places to eat at to make it more diverse and more of an attraction to city residents and visitors,” said Kerbuski.

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Old Town’s events offer a unique side of Greater Lansing

When you think about Lansing, you think about the Michigan State Capitol, Michigan State University, St. Mary Cathedral, and the Porter Park Zoo. However there is not much talk when it comes to people talking about Old Town, as many people have yet to visit this unique and vibrant area that provides its residents with something new every month consistently for so many years. From the Chocolate Walk, Taste and Tour, Chalk of the Town, and ScrapFest, Old Town provide its residents and visitors with a new event or activity every month to make it unlike anywhere else throughout Lansing. These events really appeal to families and young professionals throughout Old Town as many events are successful, however the success does not all just come from community participation.

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.

Ozone's Brewhouse has been very successful ever since it has arrived last Spring. Located on 305 Beaver St. Photo by Joshua chung

Old Town a magnet for unique, non-chain businesses

With new buildings coming into Old Town this past year, Old Town has expanded its borders to the biggest it has ever been. Although why are these businesses heading to Old Town to start? One draw is that Old Town is known for being a very artistic and hipster type of town with many common coffee shops and young fashion-type of stores. Recently, two new establishments have opened known as The Grid Arcade and Bar that includes an arcade inside a bar, which is something different than what Old Town has had in the past. Also opening was the Ozone’s Brewhouse that recently opened last spring, which is located on 305 Beaver St.