News in brief: Spring edition

What’s been going on in downtown these last few months? We have answers.

1. Downtown Scoops has new owners. Congratulations to Aaron and Kari Buza, who recently announced their purchase of the beloved ice-cream shop! Aaron is no new face to the Scoops scene– he had been the operations manager since the beginning.

The new owners. Photo credit: Downtown Scoops

2. Upgrades are coming to Culligan Plaza. Alpena Municipal Council has approved plans to bring some potential changes to the plaza in the heart of downtown, including removing the current block benches, adding more tables and umbrellas, adding more flowers, and possibly leveling the area to make it more accessible. The full story can be found here. 

Culligan Plaza’s current state. Minus flowers. And sun.  Photo credit: Downtown Alpena

3. Dry Dock has closed.  The bar, located on River Street next to Cabin Creek, has shut its doors for good. No public announcement has been made on what is going in that building, but some work to clean it out has begun…

RIP, Dry Dock.

4. Our downtown movie theaters have received some upgrades. The theaters, now under AMC ownership, received some changes to the concession area: a Freestyle Coke machine, an ICEE machine, a self-serve butter station, as well as new offerings of hot food, such as hot dogs and flatbread pizzas.

The concession area at the State Theatre. Photo credit: Downtown Alpena

5. Thunder Bay Theatre’s spring season has begun. Jungle Book may be in the books, but A Grand Night for Singing, featuring the beloved music of Rogers & Hammerstein, opens this weekend. But that’s not all the news from TBT. They have also announced their summer season (West Side Story, Addams Family, and Oklahoma?!?), hired their summer core company, and are getting ready for their FIRST Annual Family Fundraiser, featuring an immersive arts experience for the whole family.

And if that’s not enough, they have a brand-spankin-newly designed website, so check it out here for full schedule & ticket info. 

From A Grand Night for Singing. Photo credit: Thunder Bay Theatre


6. The old Fletcher Brewery site is becoming an events venue. Weddings, business events, receptions, and more– if you missed the news, read all about it here.

7. Lake Huron Discovery Tour has won the Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration. Numerous events along US-23, in Alpena, and in downtown have been part of this annual 200-mile fall drive event. Congratulations to all those who make this tourism initiative possible and all those who plan events each year!

And for all you beer lovers…

8. Fresh Palate has Founder’s KBS on draught. This imperial stout, brewed in bourbon barrels with coffee and chocolate, is one of the beer world’s highest rated brews– and has acquired quite the cult following. Get it before it’s gone.

Here’s to the promise of spring– and only a few days more until Oberon release!


Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry. Any news I missed? Drop me a line below or on Facebook here


2 thoughts on “News in brief: Spring edition

  1. Anne, we stopped in to see you, and were sorry to learn that you’re not yet in the office. It would be great if you could mention on your blog that a March for Science will be held April 22 in Alpena. Meet at NOAA by 2:45. Music there, then march to Culligan Plaza for a rally.This info may be in between your blogs, but if not, thanks much.

    Pat Shaffer for Jim Shaffer, March Coordinator
    People for Social Justice.


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