Leelanau County has added another notch of fame to its belt. Now the two most popular boys’ names in America have their roots in beloved taverns in Glen Arbor and Empire. Last year, 18 percent of all newborn boys nationwide were honored with the names “Art” and “Joe” on their birth certificates. “Art” for Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor, and “Joe” for Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire.

From staff reports Tina (Taghon) Dunphey and husband Mark bought Tiffany’s Café in downtown Empire on Sept. 23. Mark teaches at Leelanau St. Mary in Lake Leelanau where their two sons attend school, so Tina will watch over the shop. They plan to be open through the winter on Fridays and Saturdays from 9-6 and […]

Local businesses are showing signs of life, despite the global coronavirus pandemic and statewide shutdown. Art’s Tavern and Blu in Glen Arbor are both open for curbside service, as are Leland’s Riverside Inn and Empire’s Friendly Tavern.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore enjoys a healthy relationship with a nonprofit group of local volunteers, Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, which has pitched in to keep trails and parking lots plowed, collect trash and keep toilets clean and accessible during the federal government shutdown.

The government shutdown, about to enter its third week, has closed all National Parks, including the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. That is hurting several Empire businesses near the National Lakeshore’s visitor center, and it’s doing so at the slow time of year when they need business the most.

The next Empire Area Community Emergency Fund concert will be held on Sunday, Nov. 30 from 4-6 p.m. at Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire. This month’s performance will feature Peter Bergin — an exceptionally talented musician both energetic and dynamic, a true artist.

It’s cold and dark in the north country, and the cheery onslaught of tourists is many months away. But those of us who stick around through the winter still deserve to eat, and eat well. Thanks to a bevy of deals and discounts offered at local restaurants, we shall not starve.

We barely had a white Christmas, and now the white was gone. What was happening? The jet stream was still parked up over Canada, blocking the cold air and extending our mild autumn into what is usually deep winter. How was it affecting the town’s businesses?