New Mexican restaurant for Bay City, Frankenmuth jobs and more business news

BAY CITY, Mich. — From a new restaurant opening recently on Midland Street in Bay City to a water park expansion and new jobs coming to Frankenmuth, here’s some recent Mid-Michigan business news you may have missed:

Saginaw’s nostalgic Bill’s Party Store has been sold, but it’s business as usual for now

Saginaw’s nostalgic Bill’s Party Store has been sold, but is still open and operating under the Bill’s name with the same familiar faces behind the counter, at least for now.

“We’re still here,” said Angela Pinter, whose father, Bill Vlasis, was the store’s longtime owner. “My father is still here every night.”

Related: Bill’s Party Store in Saginaw is up for sale after 60 years

The 526-square-foot party store, located at 2422 Mackinaw Street, a half-mile from Arthur Hill High School, has been in business for six decades and has been called a Saginaw landmark. Vlasis, who plans to retire, sold it late last year.

Read the full story here.

Michigan’s best local eats: Refreshing, sparkling “sparkles” from Sips

Sips, a new coffee shop located in the center of Saginaw’s SVRC Marketplace, offers coffee and espresso drinks, tea and refreshing, sparkling “sparkles.”

The decaf iced drink is made with lemonade, club soda, custom flavors and “pop pearls.”

“They’re pretty fun,” said Heather Shepherd, who co-owns Café 476, 6235 Gratiot Road, and now runs Sips, which is under the same ownership. “Crackling pearls… when you bite into them, they crack.”

Read the full story here.

Sombreros Mexican restaurant is coming to Midland Street in Bay City

When Joseph Stricker opened Sombreros Mexican Restaurant in Saginaw County four years ago, he knew he wanted to focus on traditional Mexican-style cooking, the food he fondly remembers from childhood.

“Growing up, I would always wake up in the morning at my grandfather’s house and watch him cook Mexican food, and it was like the happiest moment of my life,” he said of his late grandfather, Benjamin Martinez. “I still smile when I think of him cooking for the family.”

Stricker said he strives to make his customers smile like that every time they eat at Sombreros.

“A lot of these recipes are from my grandfather,” he said.

Read the full story here.

More than $1 million in property taxes owed by the Midland Mall will be auctioned off this month

More than $1 million in delinquent property taxes is owed on the Midland Mall, which will be offered for sale at an online auction later this month.

Great Neck, New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group owns the mall, and Midland Mall Realty Holdings LLC is listed as the owner on the tax rolls for the property at 6800 Eastman Ave.

Midland County Treasurer Cathy Lunsford confirmed the mall owes more than $1 million in delinquent property taxes: $616,259.34 in 2021 property taxes if paid in April and a $426,253.89 property tax for 2022 property taxes; however, this number has not been finalized.

Lunsford confirmed that 1 percent interest will be added each month if it remains unpaid and a 4 percent administrative fee will be added once it is officially turned over to the county treasurer.

Read the full story here.

The $80 million expansion of the Bavarian Inn’s water park is expected to create 71 jobs

An $80 million expansion at Frankenmuth’s iconic Bavarian Inn is expected to make the indoor water park and family entertainment center Michigan’s largest and create 71 jobs.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce funding approval for the Bavarian Inn Lodge expansion project with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $80 million and create 71 jobs, supported by a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, according to a news release issued by Whitmer’s office this week.

“The Bavarian Inn Lodge expansion will bring a new water park, create good-paying jobs and build on the vibrancy and amenities that already exist in downtown Frankenmuth,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Read the full story here.

20 black-owned businesses have applied for CMURC’s ‘Lift ME’ and there’s still time for more

About 20 black-owned businesses in Saginaw County have already applied for Central Michigan University Research Corporation’s Lift ME, a new entrepreneurial program focused on accelerating black-owned small businesses, and there’s still time to apply.

“We have about 20 applicants so far, so we’re excited to continue to bring in those applicants and go through them and see what we have,” CMURC President and CEO Erin Strang told MLive/The Saginaw News about a week after the application opened.

“We will go through an extensive review process and then select a number of entrepreneurs to move forward and make that announcement on May 4 at the Saginaw Soup event.”

Read the full story here.

Read more from MLive:

New restaurants, State Street demolition and more Mid-Michigan business news

A historic Bay City church has sold for $65,000 at an online auction

Red Eye hosts a “quiet book club” for introverts, no discussion necessary

Downtown Saginaw’s main coffee shop, Dawn of a New Day, will be closed

Saginaw’s new Museum of the Black Experience could open in time for June 16