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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.

Just before Christmas, Ian Olmsted and a team from Peninsula Solar completed the installation of 70 rooftop solar panels above the Art’s Annex, the former gas station turned t-shirt shop next to the popular tavern in downtown Glen Arbor. The solar array will generate 30,000 kilowatt hours annually —satisfying 15-20 percent of Art’s energy load.

Art’s Tavern Tim Barr reports that “Art’s will be closed from Monday night, Dec. 23, at 10 p.m. until breakfast at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, for re-varnishing the bar and other maintenance tasks. “Merry Christmas to all!” he says.

Tim Barr and Bonnie Nescot, who own Glen Arbor’s world famous Art’s Tavern, were honored with this year’s Leelanau Peninsula Chamber business of the year award. The award was presented at the Chamber’s annual dinner on Oct. 25. This is the third year in a row the award has been issued. Previous winners include the Bahles in Suttons Bay and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ Economic Development Corporation.

Check out this great video from Detroit Public Television’s traveling “Under the Radar” series. You can stream the owners of Cherry Republic and Art’s Tavern, the Deputy Superintendent of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Glen Arbor artists Becky Thatcher and Beth Bricker into your homes, thus satisfying your wanderlust.

The Glen Lake Chamber is requesting volunteers to be parade marshals for the big Glen Arbor 4th of July parade. We need volunteers to bring brooms to the parade to sweep back the candy from the street to the kids along the parade route as well as assisting along the route from Glen Haven into town. We need approximately 50+ people. Please contact Tim Barr from Art’s Tavern directly at (231) 499-2787 for more information, to sign up to volunteer, and to get a parade marshal shirt.

Art’s Tavern owner Tim Barr turned 60 years young on Feb. 16. Nearly 100 Glen Arbor locals came out to the tavern to celebrate him. Riverfront Deli owner Sue Nichols baked these cupcakes in Tim’s likeness (photo below), and Beach Bard Norm Wheeler recited the following poem for Tim (adapted from Stone Circle founder Max Ellison’s poem “50”):

Ever since Wednesday, August 17, Northern Michiganders have both embraced and grappled with the news that the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and surrounding region are considered the “most beautiful place in America” — at least according to 22 percent of 100,000 voters who participated in the ABC show Good Morning America’s online competition the second week of August.