An August 2001 trip
to Michigan by friskycelery
Quote: Downtown Saugatuck is only a couple of blocks long, and is absolutely crammed with interesting little shops, cafes, and art galleries. And it is almost as much fun to see the innovative ways the shop owners have devised of using the limited space they have available.
But when the trees were gone, the sawmill was moved to St. Ignace and by 1898, Singapore was covered by drifting sand dunes. Today, Singapore lives on only in the name of the Singapore Yacht Club, which is located at one end of town. Walking down the yacht club's boardwalk is always an enjoyable experience.
Today Sauagatuck is an artsy, funky, fun town to visit, full of fun shops and great places to eat. The Chicago connection is still strong, though. Chicago is fairly easy sail away across Lake Michigan, and you will see a number of yachts with Chicago listed as their home port.
Note One: Not every place in town is suitable for children. Some places because of the number of beautiful, breakable, expensive items, and some places because of adult content. (Do you really want to explain the T-shirt "Will Fake Orgasm for Jewelry" to your child? Thought not.) One store had so many "Do Not Touch" signs that I was afraid that the mere act of breathing might disturb their lovingly arranged window display.
Note Two: Saugatuck is a gay-friendly town. Many merchants display rainbow flags or decals, and most lodging establishments are comfortable with gay couples. If you are straight, but not narrow, you'll have a good time.
Note Three: Saugatuck is the quintessential summer town, but many of the businesses are open year round. After Labor Day, the crowds go away, and an October Saturday in Saugatuck can be really fine.
Uncommon Grounds is a laid-back, funky place that shares a building with a psychic/massage therapist. You are just as likely to find the wealthy yacht owner here as the local high school student. And the great part is that the owner treats them both the same.
Food here is of the bagel/muffin/cookie variety, but the coffee! Oh, my! This is without question the best cappuccino I've ever had. They also sell whole bean coffee from a dozen different countries (Tanzanian Teaberry, anyone?), and teas from around the world. I make a point of stopping here when I'm in town.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002
They have a pretty garden in the back, full of flowers and fresh herbs. You can sit out there in fine weather.
A couple of years ago, I arranged to meet a man at the Loaf and Mug. It wasn't quite a blind date - I had met him on a trip out of the country, and thought it might be interesting to see him when we were back on our home turf.
He was coming up from Valpariso, Indiana. I was coming from Kalamazoo, Michigan. We arranged to meet at 11:00 am at the Loaf and Mug. It was late April.
I was a little early - I usually am. Since the day was fine, I asked to sit out back, and told the waitress I was waiting for someone.
And waiting. And waiting.
After about an hour, I left, muttering curses against men who would stand me up after I had driven all that way.
He was a little late. Looking for a blonde, the waitress neglected to tell him about the light brown haired woman who had just left.
The time change was what really did us in. That part of Indiana, even though in the Eastern Time Zone, does not change to Daylight Savings Time in the summer. Neither one of us took that into consideration.
I took that as a sign that this wasn't the guy for me, but I'd still go back to the Loaf and Mug.
Wally’s has a nice, outdoor eating area, with tables shaded by big umbrellas. Tables are in a fenced-off area of the sidewalk, which makes for great people- watching. Inside are a couple of TVs tuned to sports.
Food here is pretty simple. Sandwiches range from US$4.75 for grilled cheese, to US$8.50 for lake perch. All sandwiches come with chips, and fries or onion rings can be substituted for just a bit more. Dinner entrees range from a half perch dinner for US$9.50 to US$22.00 for filet mignon. I had a grilled chicken sandwich, which was hot and tasty.
On a hot summer day in the middle of the week, Wally’s was not busy, and my meal came promptly. In the evenings and on weekends it can get pretty crowded. Many Saugatuck area restaurants have tiny kitchens, but Wally’s has the courtesy of telling you right on their menu that their kitchen is small, and it can take up to an hour to get your meal if the place is packed. I really appreciate their honesty.
Another nice point about Wally’s: You know the vegetable misters that grocery stores have to keep their vegetables cool and fresh? The kind that come on automatically and mists the veggies? Well, Wally’s has people misters. When it gets hot on the outdoor patio, a cool, almost fog-like mist wafts over the patrons. I was so delighted that Wally’s misted me like a vegetable (to keep me cool and fresh!) that I laughed out loud.
Wally’s Bar and Grill
128 Hoffman Street
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2002
Even though I normally love kitchen stores, I'm always a little uneasy here. I think the owners would be much happier if they didn't have to bother with actual customers. Customers mess up their displays, and move things around on the shelves. Quel horreur!
This is definitely not the place to bring kids. There are probably more "Do Not Touch" signs per square foot in this store than in just about any store on the planet.
Make sure you visit the upstairs art gallery. This is one of the few places outside of Chicago where I have see William Olendorf's works for sale.
Since American Spoon Foods is a Traverse City based enterprise, much of their wares are cherry based. (Traverse City bills itself as the Cherry Capitol of the world.) There are other varieties of jams and salsas, but I really recommend at least trying the dried cherries.