Crooked Spoon

Business owner impacted by Grand Marais fire shares update on plans moving forward

WTIP Community Radio shared the devastating story of the fire in downtown Grand Marais on April 13. Since then, the owners of the three businesses that lost their buildings have been trying to determine what to do next. The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority has been working with the business and building owners to look at possibilities for the now-vacant lots on Wisconsin Street.

At the end of October, the EDA announced that it was seeking an individual or company that could work with the different businesses involved. Not on sale of the lots, but to help bring together the various ideas that have been brought forward since the fire.

It is a challenging effort, involving the businesses lost to fire–Picnic and Pine, The Crooked Spoon Cafe, and White Pine North, but also two other property owners.

Only Sara and Nathan Hingos of Crooked Spoon Cafe owned their building. Tim and Beth Kennedy, as Gunflint Realty, owned the Picnic and Pine building, and Jim and Jackie Larsen were the owners of the White Pine building.

Also taking part in the discussion of redevelopment is Jim Joynes of Joynes Ben Franklin, owner of the parking lot to the west of the now-open lots. That parking lot is listed for sale.

The group, with EDA President Howard Hedstrom facilitating, has had some interesting discussion. There are still a lot of unknowns for the property and business owners, but Hedstrom stressed that at this time, none of the lots in question are for sale.

WTIP spoke with Hedstrom about the search for a potential development partner in this interview.

WTIP Community Radio also reached out to some of the business owners to learn more. In this interview, WTIP’s Rhonda Silence, speaks with Sara Hingos, co-owner of the Crooked Spoon Cafe, about her family’s participation in the EDA-facilitated group and about their efforts to continue the Crooked Spoon story.