Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

June 23, 2013

Frankfort a hot spot

FRANKFORT — The name "Stormcloud" of the new Stormcloud Brewing Company is meant to be a reference to the turbulence often found in a brilliant artist's mind, but the brew pub's co-owner, Brian Confer, doesn't mind if the name also serves as an allusion to the weather systems that regularly rumble in to Frankfort off Lake Michigan.

"It (Stormcloud) was sort of my own analogy to the creative process...but the great thing about the word is it works here on the shore of Lake Michigan, where the weather rolls in and the weather rolls out," Confer said. "It has the power of Lake Michigan behind it.

"It’s a stormy and dramatic name," Confer said. "I hope we can embody that."

Stormcloud Brewing Co. is one of several brand new businesses opening up this summer in the picturesque lakefront community of Frankfort. City Manager Josh Mills said Frankfort is seeing a strong demand this summer for storefronts from new business ventures.

"One thing that has been a draw to the community recently is all the accolades for the beauty of the region in general. That has trickled down to Frankfort,” Mills said. “Every downtown storefront is occupied, except for one, and that’s the owner’s choice. We’re turning people away.”

Other businesses coming to Frankfort this summer include Glenwood Market, located next to the Chamber of Commerce, and which opened in late May; wine bar and emporium Cru Cellars Michigan on Main Street, now open; Petals and Perks on Main Street, opened in May; and Bay Sport Rentals, a kayak and bike rental shop, which will debut at the corner of Main and 8th streets later this year.

"It (Frankfort) is the only location on the Third Coast that has everything,” said Bay Sport co-owner Greg Ball. “It has a 22-mile long bike trail, it has a gorgeous river, it has unspoiled beaches that go on for miles, and it is a well-run city. It’s just a real jewel of a place.”

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