eMailMax 11/7/15 : Page 1
Moody On The Market
The community of Michigan's Great Southwest has lost one of the last, true, consummate gentlemen in our midst with word of the death of Charles Edinger of St. Joseph. The patriarch of the family that owns and operates Anderson Building Materials passed away recently at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph at the age of 87. Chuck, as his closest friends and family members knew him, headed up a quiet industrial firm along the St. Joseph riverfront that many may never have actually heard of. Yet, thousands have witnessed his firm's handiwork every time they have approached the South Pier in St. Joseph or attended a concert at the Silver Beach Pavilion on the shores of Lake Michigan. Millions have walked right up to Mr. Edinger's products from coast to coast without a clue as to where his work originated or that it is even standing in front of them. Charles Edinger's Anderson Building Materials, the unassuming little company at the terminus of Upton Drive in the shadow of the towering silos on the north side of the river opposite the arboretum, is a creator of cantilevered rack systems, structural steel for residential and commercial construction and more. In the beginning, he was the only employee of the company when he joined owner Roy Anderson in 1949. When Anderson died 13 years later in 1962, Chuck Edinger became President & Owner of the company...positions he held right up to the time of his death. I have known Chuck Edinger for at least the past 30 years or so, and witnessed on virtually every occasion his demeanor as the ultimate gentleman, always with a kind word for everyone, and an honestly inquisitive nature, perpetually searching for the good news in everything and everyone. He reveled in good news stories, and always told a good one himself. He and his sons Greg and Jack built Anderson Building Materials into a powerhouse firm that built storage racks systems of all sorts, but the ones that we all have seen at some point with no clue that they came from St. Joseph, Michigan....were the towering steel cantilevered frames that form the shelving systems in big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. Few among us likely had any idea that the colorful and artistic steel frame work for the Silver Beach Pavilion were crafted by workers at Anderson Building Materials right across the river. Edinger was one of the hardest working men I know, but always kept his company at a low profile on the local scene. Nevertheless, he shared his time, talent and treasure with community institutions that sincerely appreciated his participation including the St. Joseph Improvement Association, Cornerstone Alliance and others. He was a lifelong member of the Lakeshore Masonic Lodge where he was a 32nd degree Mason, and served on the Boards of Directors of People's State Bank, Civitas, Pinnacle Financial, and Fifth Third Bank. Carol and 1 had the distinct pleasure of traveling to the Caribbean with Chuck and his lovely wife Lois, and every time our paths would cross in a restaurant somewhere they would also take time to chat for a few moments and ask about how life was treating us. I particularly loved his perpetual smile and quirky response of "how about that," when he marveled at something that cropped up in conversation. I was honored to play a small role in their 50th wedding anniversary some 17 years ago. Chuck Edinger was a man among men, and with the great respect I hold for manufacturers everywhere, I still marvel at the work his company has performed and the quality products they create right here in Michigan’s Great Southwest. Godspeed to the entire Edinger family and the men and women who operate Anderson Building Materials every day. Starks & Menchinger Chapel handled arrangements for the family, and memorial contributions may be made to the church, the Humane Society of SW Michigan, or the Berrien County Shrine.
The North Shore neighborhood of Benton Township is already a must for burger lovers who revere the legendary North Shore Inn cheeseburger basket, but Jay Fettig is hopeful that the golf cart crossroads in his new back yard will turn into a whole new “Amen Corner” once his new North Pier Brewing Company launches late next spring or early next summer. Golfer’s everywhere know that the “Amen Corner” refers to holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National, home of the Masters. Since the future home of North Pier Brewing is in the center of the looping cart path connecting holes 13 and 14 at Harbor Shores, the combination of a legendary burger joint on one corner and a new brew pub on the other should be enough to get happy golfers and fans to say an “Amen” as they savor what could be a new hot corner in its own right. Fettig has appeared before Benton Township Planners and the Benton Township Board seeking approval for a special use permit that would allow him to manufacture craft beer in a building that has long been zoned for industrial use. The Township Board gave their unanimous approval, paving the way for Fettig to move beyond the blueprint stage for his new brew house between the North Shore Inn and the Harbor Shores Hideaway neighborhood built along the banks of the Paw Paw River. North Pier Brewing will convert the structurally sound 5,000 square foot building at the corner of North Shore Drive and Higman Park Road into both a craft brew production facility and a tap room. About two-thirds of the building will be used for production, and the tap room is designed to seat 60 people with a small patio off the back capable of handling another 20 or so patrons. Paved parking on site will accommodate 26 vehicles behind the building, but should have little impact at all on the Hideaway cottages. Fettig says they want to be good neighbors and North Pier Brewing’s tap room will be family-friendly.
Jay tells me that he has inked a contract with a new Brewmaster who will be coming on board soon, and contractors will begin the build out and renovation process within the next month in hopes of being ready to debut in late spring or early summer 2016. Fettig has a passion for craft beers, and while he has home-brewed for several years, he’s among the first to admit that he knows excellent craft beer, but isn’t necessarily skilled enough to produce award-winning beers, thus...the hiring of a head brewmaster to handle that end of the business. Jay also has the entrepreneurial spirit that has been driving him to own his own business since he earned his MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in May of 2014. Shortly thereafter he signed on as Chief Marketing Officer at Competitive Edge in Stevensville. Prior to returning to his studies for the MBA, he had worked as a Brand Management Intern for Wendy’s and spent four years in Chicago with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. North Pier Brewing Company will ultimately feature a draught system with 16 taps, about 10 or 12 of which will feature craft beers, with the balance featuring draft sodas, iced coffees, and perhaps some hard ciders. The tap room will not be outfitted with kitchen facilities, so food options may follow the model of fellow brewers at Arclight Brewing in Watervliet, where outside food is allowed in. The decades-old building most recently has been home to a motorcycle repair shop and headquarters for a lawn mowing and snow plowing contractor, but the building has variously been home, over the years, to sheet metal sales and back in the 30’s a small gas station. Fettig says the building has some character including an A-frame entryway with a pitched roof, and he’s hopeful of “re-purposing” the building, rather than demolishing and starting over. Having grown up a stone’s throw from the North Pier Lighthouses, the iconic waterfront has been a personal beacon to Fettig and when you combine that fact with the instant recognizability, Jay just wanted to tie in to the community with the name of his business and products. So, with special use permits in hand, applications underway with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, blueprints ready to be released to the contractors, and a brewmaster ready to get started... it’s a heady and exciting time for Jay Fettig whose passion for the craft brewing industry grows with every passing day. Stay tuned for more as the project wheels continue to turn.
A colleague perhaps summed it up best: the train has left the station. Essentially, the name Stevensville Station has been retired in favor of the new name Woodies, and the signs out front and back will soo reflect that change as well. Steve Farnum has purchased the 3,000 square foot business from Sid Hickmott who inherited the place from his father Dee Hickmott who owned and operated Stevensville Station for 28 years until he died about a year ago. Farnum, who was a bartender at both the Silver Dollar and the Boulevard Inn years ago and later worked in the nuclear industry for some 19-years, decided to gravitate back toward the business recently. He looked at several franchise opportunities, but then discovered that Hickmott had placed the long time restaurant and bar up for sale and jumped at the chance to own and operate his own place literally five minutes from home. Farnum has been an avid duck hunter over the years, and the slang for his favorite Wood Duck is Woodies, so that’s what he has named the place. He took over the business just last month and he’s already begun work on multiple fronts to upgrade the place. New signage is coming soon, kitchen upgrades are underway including new refrigeration and a new deli meat & cheese slicer to help in his forthcoming line-up of specialty sandwiches. The current menu he has in the house and posted on his Facebook fan page is an interim menu until he’s able to get all the pieces and parts put together to put his signature on the cuisine being offered. Steve tells me he has an outstanding recipe for broasted chicken and will soon fire up the chicken broaster. He will hold off on that until his new ventilation system is installed in the very near future. While the restaurant is currently open 7-days a week, Steve cautions that they may be closed for a day at a time as upgrades continue, especially when they work on the ventilation system. New flat screen Tvs are being added along with addition of Direct TV, the wall between the bar side of the house and the dining room will eventually be opened up, the wait station at the rear will get privacy screening, and some new high-top tables will help soften the transition from the bar to table-top dining. Woodies is located at 5725 St. Joseph Avenue in the heart of Stevensville’s central business district and Farnum is offering a Monday through Friday lunch special of a quarter- pound hamburger, fries and a soft drink for $5 available from 11am until 3pm. He will also offer a Friday night Fish Fry of $8.95 with fries, currently offering Pollock, but is hopeful of adding Cod to the fish fry at $10 soon. He’s also looking forward to offering fresh-cut french fries in-house as they get settled in and familiar with the lay of the land. Farnum also says his Chef Terry also has some great ideas for the upcoming full-time menu, so stay tuned. The interim menu offers some appetizers for starters, salads, baskets, hot roast beef and hot roast turkey sandwiches, BLTs, Grilled Cheese, a Fajita Chicken Wrap, and other offerings. Steve is excited to be back in the groove again, and looking forward to welcoming lots of new customers as Woodies rolls into the station in downtown Stevensville. Just a heads up...service is cash only for now, however there is an ATM on premise, and he’s hopeful of lining up a credit card machine soon. Take out service is also available, and you can call ahead with your order to have it ready for pick up if you wish. The number to call is 429-5730. Woodies opens Monday through Saturday at 11am and on Sunday at noon. They remain open Monday through Thursday until midnight, until 2am on Friday and Saturday, and are open from noon until midnight on Sunday.
The Stevensville Big Boy will once again be honoring area veterans with a free breakfast on Veterans Day. From 7am until 10:30am on Wednesday, November 11th, any veteran can stop by the Big Boy at 4641 Red Arrow Highway to enjoy a trip to the breakfast buffet compliments of David Hunt, owner of the restaurant. Hunt says, “It is our pleasure to honor the men and women who have served our country, whether in times of combat or peace. We are blessed with freedom and rights that so many others around the world don’t enjoy – and are blessed with the dedication of those in uniform. This is a small gesture of appreciation to all those who have served in any branchy of the military.” For further information, you can reach Hunt at 429-6171.
That’s it for this week, kids. Have a great week, and we’ll see you Saturday right here in MailMax, and online 24/7 at www.MoodyontheMarket.com
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