Three Michigan City Businesses Thrive on Community Ties

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Matt Cunningham

Dune Billies

Dune Billies is located at 201 Center Street in Michigan City’s Little Canada neighborhood. Owner Lisa Murray, a neighborhood resident herself, said she’s trying to create a family friendly gathering spot with fresh, local and healthy offerings.

“We want to create that old time corner store kind of a feel where you can come inside in your flipflops,” she said. “There’s nothing pretentious about it. We’re a silly place with really serious sandwiches.”

She said her breakfast items have been a huge hit. A house favorite is the Billies’ Benedict, two eggs over easy with spinach and homemade lemon aioli. The menu also includes plenty of gluten-free options.

In addition to quality fare, Murray is focused on building relationships. The upstairs of the restaurant serves as an Airbnb that is also available for private parties and events. Thursday September 21st, a seminar called Peace Inside Out: Six Tools from Nobel Laureates will be an interactive talk led by TEDx speaker and film maker Valerie Mrak.

SFC Gallery

Named for its parent company, Sharpeye Framing Company, SFC Gallery, 607 Franklin Street, offers customized framing to customers, many of which are professional artists.

Designer and manager Kristina Knowski acknowledged that there are not many places left at the local level to get art framed. She said the Uptown Arts District (UAD) location is an advantage for both the business and its customers.

“We’re unique in that we do a lot with a little bit of space,” she said. “We do artist discounts, we do retail and in-home design consultations and one of the best things that I think we do is that we have First Friday artists, which we switch out every month with the work of a local artist.”

Knowski said that SFC Gallery is happy to be in Michigan City’s UAD at this particular moment, and she looks forward to continuing to forge close relationships with artists and patrons.

Quality Beet

Tim Bauer has quickly established his Quality Beet as a beacon of community interactions and captivating music. Located in the Artspace alley at 717 Franklin Street, Bauer operates an eco-friendly business that offers local and organic food options, sustainable products and he’s concentrating on minimizing food waste.

Bauer said his meat selection from Jake’s Country Meats is popular with shoppers.

Bauer, whose long been involved in the music world, is also intent on bringing a diverse array of music to the area.

“I have connections with original touring acts,” he said. “Now I’m bringing them to Michigan City.”

Bauer mentioned his excitement for an upcoming show on September 16th with New York folksinger Diane Cluck and Michigan City’s Deneza Jadol.

Quality Beet, like all these businesses have Facebook pages that you can follow, but he encourages people to stop by and visit him.

“You can’t buy bananas on Facebook yet,” he joked.

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