There’s a buzz in the air in Grand Marais. Several downtown businesses have expanded, and three brand new ones are getting ready to open their doors.
Jill Terrill owns the old Lind Garage building in downtown Grand Marais. Her clothing store, Threads, occupies the front part of the historical building, built in 1920. Terrill’s new business, The Garage, will occupy the space at the back of the building, housing an antiques dealership and an artisan’s co-op. There’s also a large, airy meeting space, complete with comfortable seating, a lunch counter, tables, and a coffee cart.
“It's called 'The Garage - Art, Antiques, Coffee, and Community.' I’m hoping that it will really be a chance of community coming together to help community,” said Terrill. “That’s one of the reasons we want to keep some open meeting space in the back, where people can gather, groups can come in the evening. We’re going to offer live music in the back. We’re going to broker antiques for people, if they have a couple things they want to turn into cash. So, we’re pretty much open to suggestions, of ways to add some extra income to people who live here. And we’re really trying to make it a cooperative, community based program. Our logo is a tree with the roots exposed and we really are trying to feed the roots of the community. That’s our focus.”
Terrill is especially excited about the historical signs and objects that decorate The Garage.
“There’s all this history in the building, from not just this building, but Grand Marais, that’s finding its way back to the building. You know, we’ve got the old lunch counter from Mabel’s Café, and the ice cream stools from Leng’s Soda Fountain, and the original Gunflint Trail bear, and so we’re really trying to honor the community that’s gone before us. Our opening will be June 14, and then our grand opening will be the second weekend in July.”
Not far from The Garage, across Broadway to the east, another business is getting ready to open, called Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply. Owner Jack Stone purchased the Superior Coastal Sports building, located on the east harbor in downtown Grand Marais, in January of this year, and has been renovating and expanding the space.
“I’m excited,” said Stone. “I’m getting worn out by the whole construction process, but I’m really excited to get this thing rolling. In all the years I’ve been coming to Grand Marais, I’ve always felt there was a need for a high adventure shop; one that will cover all the sports that people participate in, up in the Grand Marais area.”
Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply will be open year round, offering outdoor gear for sale and rental, as well as guided kayaking, canoeing, and climbing trips.
“Many, many years ago I worked for Eddie Bauer, back in the early 70’s, back when Eddie Bauer was Eddie Bauer. We sold tents, sleeping bags, and all those things. And I’ve been trying to model this store on my memory of what Eddie Bauer was at that time, which was a fantastic expedition outfitter, is what they called themselves. So that’s sort of where we want to be.”
Stone is planning what’s known as a soft opening, hopefully by Memorial Day weekend.
“Then, over the Wooden Boat Show/Summer Solstice at the North House, that’s when our grand opening is going to be, and that’s where we’re going to be kind of inviting the world to see us.”
Also inviting the world to see his new business is photographer Stephan Hoglund. Hoglund is a long time Grand Marais artist and businessman, well-known for his jewelry making and in recent years, for his photography.
“In the past few years I’ve gotten more and more involved in my photography work and I really love it, and I was trying to run it through my much too tiny jewelry story already, and there just wasn’t room and I felt that if I was to be taken seriously as a photographer I needed a gallery space and I needed a portraiture studio separate from my jewelry store.”
Hoglund finds inspiration for his photography in and around Grand Marais on a daily basis.
“I feel like I could go out every day for the rest of my life here and get something important that’s not the same. The way the light changes and the moods of the weather are just phenomenal.”
Hoglund’s new gallery and photo studio, called Boreal Light Imagery Gallery, is located on Broadway in downtown Grand Marais, across the street from the Shoreline Hotel. The grand opening is scheduled for Friday of Memorial Day weekend, May 28.