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Author: Adam Droscha

Sugar Hut reopens in Vermontville

Every small town and village needs its own café. A simple, quiet morning spot with homemade dishes with a country style flavor, a cheap cup of coffee, and a waitress that knows your name and order without having to ask. Lisa’s Café was the last occupant of a small kitchen and dining room at 174 S. Main Street in Vermontville, but shortly after its closing, Angela Keehn came on board with many years of experience in food service and a plan to bring back The Sugar Hut. The Sugar Hut was a former name of another Vermontville café and restaurant, according to Keehn. In her view the opening of a new café is really the return of The Sugar Hut, something familiar and comfortable in the Vermontville community. With the help of her staff, Keehn plans to bring back some of the beloved recipes of The Sugar Hut, and generally home style cooking she knows locals will enjoy. The new Sugar Hut menu is simple so far. Breakfast includes a few simple egg and meat dishes with options for pancakes as well. Lunch has a few sandwich standards like a BLT and grilled cheese, as well as burgers, and soup and salad. Dinner includes favorites like shepherd’s pie, Swiss steak, and other classics. Keehn already has dinner specials for each night of the week, which will change and rotate...

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Conflict between Potterville city manager and council member

Friday, March 30, at 11 a.m., Eaton County Circuit Court judge, John Maurer, presided over a legal dispute involving Potterville City Manager, Wanda Darrow, and Potterville City councilman, Dustin Twichell. Due to a largely personal conflict, which both Darrow and Twichell identified as spanning several years ago, Darrow requested a personal protection order (PPO) against councilman Twichell for what she, and several others, have described as “belligerent,” “harsh,” “intimidating,” and “concerning” behavior. During the Friday hearing, Darrow began to describe to Judge Maurer the circumstances that led her to request the PPO against Twichell. In the few minutes she was allotted for her testimony, Darrow described one of two specific scenarios in which she felt threatened by councilman Twichell. The first, heard briefly by Judge Maurer, involved a situation on Monday, March 19 in which councilman Twichell arrived at Potterville City Hall to acquire documents he believed were wrongly being withheld from him, and other council members. By Twichell’s own recount, the city manager, and by extension the city clerk, were under the direction of city council to provide the document in question by a specific date and time. When the documents were not sent, Twichell called City Hall to make an inquiry. When his inquiry was met with resistance, Twichell decided to visit City Hall in person. Upon arriving at City Hall, Twichell encountered Darrow, who was leaving...

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Gov. Snyder recognizes Eaton Rapids as a Rising Tide city

Monday, April 2, at an invite only event at Eaton Rapids City Hall, Governor Snyder visited the Island City to congratulate city officials, local business owners, and other community organizers for Eaton Rapids’ acceptance into the state’s Rising Tide program. The program was developed by the governor in order to equip communities with technical assistance in marketing and branding their towns, as well as preparing the communities for infrastructure changes. At the April 2 event, invitees heard not only the governor’s congratulations, but also glimpsed a bird’s eye view of all the possibilities that can be achieved by towns...

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Riverside Café reopens as Smoke and Bones BBQ

The smell of cherry and red oak and house-made barbeque sauce are the new scent at the former location of Riverside Café and Catering. Stephen Szczepanski’s new restaurant, Smoke and Bones BBQ, is his latest venture in his over 30-year career as a chef. Ready to try something different, ready to follow the trends of a changing restaurant industry, and ready to give the town of Eaton Rapids something new, Stephen closed shop for a week, then reopened April 2. Riverside Café was always a go-to breakfast spot in the Island City. But on April 2, Stephen might have slept in a little longer. Smoke and Bones no longer opens in the early morning, and no longer serves Riverside’s beloved breakfast dishes. The barbeque joint now opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Stephen has heard disappointment about the loss of the breakfast menu, but he felt it was time to give Eaton Rapids something it really didn’t have. “Quite a few people miss breakfast, but they enjoy the food here and enjoy the place,” said Stephen. Besides giving Eaton Rapids his personal taste of barbeque, there were several reasons Stephen changed his restaurant and menu. First, he’s ready to grow his brand. Stephen hopes eventually to expand, possibly to open another restaurant or two under the umbrella of Smoke and Bones. Expansion is...

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Getting to know Robin Platt, director of ER Chamber of Commerce

Robin Platt is the new part-time director of the Eaton Rapids Chamber of Commerce. A longtime resident of Eaton Rapids, Platt returned after a few years of living in Nevada. She came back looking for work that would use her skills and talents, while also serving her home community. Platt has called the Island City home since 1989. Although she moved to Nevada for a few years, she felt an ache for home, and that was good enough reason to return to the Mitten in 2017. In the early 90s she owned her own pizzeria in town called, The Other Pizza Place. In her time in Eaton Rapids Robin was active in the Eaton Rapids PTO, at one time holding position of president of the organization. She also spent 15 years in Eaton Rapids managing a bulk organic ingredient warehouse, NewOrganics, which eventually moved its location out of state. As a former business owner with a list of other management experiences, Platt felt the position of chamber director would be right for her. “I really understand business to business networking, building and supporting each other,” said Platt. Getting people involved and excited in a cause, event, or organization has been one of Platt’s biggest takeaways from her management experience. As she steps into the role as chamber director, she plans to use her ability to bring more businesses into...

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