Eats and entertainment: Small businesses in Mount Pleasant
With Valentine’s Day approaching and the cold growing bitter, people are searching for ways to keep themselves entertained and warm. Mount Pleasant provides plenty of local small businesses offering just that.
The following are some of the small businesses:
- Central Escapes
Central Escapes is an escape room venue that recently had its fifth anniversary in January. The building has two separate rooms with different themes, as well as four portable rooms that can be brought and set up at different events.
The two rooms at Central Escapes change roughly every two years. Currently, the themes are “Sweet Escape,” a candy shop-themed room, and “Dragon’s Dungeon.”
Charlene Northon is one of the owners of Central Escapes.
“It's entertainment,” Northon said. “Hands-on game, put your phones away. You know, get off social media and hang out with friends in real life.”
To book a room, go to centralescapes.com, or call 989-317-0412.
- Jib-Bob Korean Restaurant
Jib-Bob, “Mother’s Homemade Food,” is a Korean restaurant located in downtown Mount Pleasant. It offers a variety of authentic South Korean dishes and an art-filled atmosphere crafted by the owner, Maya Denslow.
Denslow was born and raised in South Korea, where she owned her own art studio and taught classes. She moved to the U.S. in 2008 and began a family here in Mount Pleasant.
On Jib-Bob’s website it said Denslow opened the restaurant to provide Mount Pleasant a welcoming place where people can come together and connect with those they care about. She is passionate about helping others appreciate Korean art and culture through her food and the atmosphere of her restaurant, the website said.
- Ziibiwing Center
While it's not technically a small business, the Ziibiwing Center, located directly across from the Soaring Eagle Casino, offers exhibits depicting different eras of local Native Americans' experience in life, as well as offering a great deal of cultural knowledge.
It’s website described the purpose of the center as a distinctive treasure meant to ”provide an enriched, diversified and culturaly relevant educational experience.“
This promotes the society's belief that the culture, diversity and spirit of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and other Great Lakes Anishinabek must be recognized, perpetuated, communicated and supported.
- Rubbles Bar
Rubbles is a bar located in downtown Mount Pleasant. It’s been open for over 30 years and recently came under new ownership. Rubbles is known for hosting live music and having a variety of patrons, from college students to local business professionals.
Melissa Gross, a manager at Rubbles, said that the new owners wanted to keep the same feeling and appeal to Rubbles, along with keeping the staff from the previous owners. This included continuing hosting live music and karaoke.
Gross said Rubbles has karaoke on Thursdays and live music every Friday and almost every Saturday.
She also said that the bands that play at Rubbles range from local bands to nationwide touring bands. Rubbles is looking into making Tuesday evenings into an Acoustic Night.
- For Arts Sake
For Arts Sake offers many different options for an artistic outlet. It has been open just short of two years and in this time, Co-owner Megan Blair said, the business has seen “an insane amount of growth.”
For Arts Sake hosts many classes and workshops on different styles of art, taught by various local artists. They also have a rage room, in which customers can break tables, bottles, plates and more to let off some steam. Safety gear is provided and closed-toed shoes are required.
They also have an art boutique in their business, which many local artists have their own works in.
“I started it (For Arts Sake) because I love art,” Blair said. “I see the need in art in our lives (on a) daily (basis), whether it be cooking or music or painting. And I think a lot of people don't have the opportunity to be creative as much as they should.”
A calendar of events and reservations for the rage rooms are available at forartssakeonline.com.
- The Diner
The Diner is located toward the Isabella County Fairground. The restaurant's website said it “prides itself on superior customer service, excellent homecooked meals and a friendly, family-like atmosphere.”
Along with traditional homestyle meals, The Diner holds a fish fry every Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., with multiple options to choose from.
- The Jump Station
The Jump Station is a trampoline park that originally opened as an inflatable park for field trips in 2015. Madison Bologna, a manager at The Jump Station said that it's come a long way since then, with intentions of the business changing after coming under new ownership in 2019.
“The original owners had it for friends and family,” Bologna said. “They kind of started out with family in mind. They had young kids. The owners now don't have any kids but they still want something for the community.”
She also added that there is no age limit on who can participate, although there are age restrictions on certain features.
The Jump Station offers a variety of activities, including free jump trampolines, a dodgeball area and a basketball hoop on a trampoline. It also has an inflatable park for kids 10 years old and under, as well as toddler-jump times before normal opening times on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Additionally, a virtual reality gaming room was recently installed, where up to four players can play a variety of different games together.
Walk-ins are welcome, but to book a certain time or view what the Jump Station has to offer, visit thejumpstationmtp.com.
- Broadway Theatre
The Broadway theater is located downtown and is operated by the nonprofit, Friends of the Broadway. According to their website, it was purchased by the organization for the purpose of preserving the historic theater and to make it available for performances and community events.
On its website, The Friends of Broadway said its mission is “to renovate and preserve the historic Broadway Theater as a community venue for performances and activities which entertain, educate and culturally enrich our community.”
They host a variety of different dramatic interpretations, but also have different events such as VHS movie nights.
Events at the theater can be found at friendsofthebroadway.org.