Celebrating Theo & Stacy’s 40th Anniversary

Theo & Stacy’s Restaurant will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary this November at the downtown location. In honor of this mile-stone we are going to take a closer look at the history of this much loved restaurant.

What is the key behind 40 years of excellent business? Theo and Stacy have always made it their priority of passing on their rich Greek heritage of fine foods and outstanding hospitality to their guest. They’ve stuck with an old Greek saying that goes, “We wish you to feel as comfortable as if you were in our home and not in a restaurant.”

Theo traveled from his home-town, a small village in southern Greece, to the state of New York. T&S3It was 1969 when Theo and his brothers established their first restaurant in Flushing, New York. After marrying Stacy the couple then decided to move to Kalamazoo to make it their hometown. It would be there that they would raise a family and own a much loved restaurant. They opened their first restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo on W. Michigan Avenue in 1973. It was at this location that the community was introduced to tasty-rich Greek dishes. Since then, Theo passed away, but Stacy continues their family dream of serving Greek food and hospitality.

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Stacy

So to celebrate the past 40 years, the downtown location of Theo & Stacy’s will be offering a dine-in throw back special for the month of November. The specials include:

Monday-Friday 7:00am-11:00am: Two eggs, American fries, and toast $0.99

     Monday – Friday 11:00am-8:00pm: Buy 1 Gyro Sandwich with fries and get the 2nd half off

To receive this special offer you must show your server the coupon that can be found their website, http://theoandstacys.com/downtown-coupon/ .

*Not valid with other coupons, discounts or offers.  Dine in only.*

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2013 Fall Fashion

Looking for the latest fall fashion trends? Look no further than in our local downtown boutiques. These boutiques are overflowing with the hottest trends for this season. Take a look at some of the fashion merchandise that can be found inside some of downtown Kalamazoo’s boutiques.

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When walking through Cakes Boutique you will notice a couple trends that are popular throughout the store. The faux leather has always been a much-loved look for every season. For this autumn, the new way with hide is an urban sensibility that’s a little bit tough, a little bit punk — rebellion never looked so chic. The other trend that is found all over the runway and in Cakes Boutique is the color green; deep, rich shades that embody the autumnal season. This charcoal dress by THML is one of the pieces that is trimmed with faux leather.

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After picking up your new dress with faux leather or your olive green top, head right next store and dive into some of  Lana’s fall trends. One of Lana’s must have items this fall is found inside a shoe box. Check out these boots with a twist that are sure to keep your feet warm during a cold day. The brand is “Koolaburra” which has the similar look of an UGG Boot, but embellished with fur or fringe to keep your feet styling throughout the season.

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Folio has all the accessories from these must-have silk tissue scarfs to their gorgeous jewelry by designers from Paris. These scarfs are a great accessory item to jazz up any outfit.

       Looking to wear the fall trend of chunky jewelry? You better head to Simply Chic Boutique. Simply Chic has a wall that shines and sparkles with jewelry that is certain to make your outfit complete. Here is a sneak peek… these are just a few selected from many that are displayed in Simply Chic.IMG_4195

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Sydney Fashion’s is the place for designer fashion and trends that include items such as beautiful cashmere, scarfs, and this new three-bags-in-one-tote, which is also reversible!

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Earthly Delights does not have an exact “fall trend”, rather they are focused on their customers, of all ages and sizes, and creating their own styles to go along with their personalities. Earthly Delights has many pieces that are sure to fashionably suit you and your personality.

There is no need to head to the mall this season because downtown Kalamazoo has every fashion for every individual!

Back to School for Grownups

Fall semester is here and students are officially back in school this week, but who said learning isn’t for grownups? You can go back to school too, by taking advantage of the many classes offered throughout downtown, from yoga classes at Sangha Yoga, to glass blowing classes at the Kalamazoo Glass Art Center. You’re never too young or too old to learn new skills and continue down a path of lifelong learning.

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When it comes to physical fitness, Sangha Yoga, Counterpoint Pilates and Body Love Project have you covered. Each facility offers classes throughout the year to meet your fitness needs. Head over to Counterpoint Pilates for a quick workout on your lunch break, Body Love Project for their Core-dio classes or head to Sangha Yoga after work for the stress relieving wonders of yoga.

Feeling artsy? However you’re feeling get this: taking art classes has been shown to encourage achievement in all KIAaspects of your life. You don’t need to be good at art, just simply allowing yourself to get lost in the creative process will help enhance problem solving skills and cultivate your senses. Sounds pretty good, right? You can get started right now by taking advantage of the many classes offered by the Kalamazoo Institute of Art this fall, including classes in photography, sculpture, creative writing and much more. Check out the KIA fall schedule for more information.

Art on a Whim, located inside the Park Trades Center, is offering 10 week long classes beginning after Labor Day. You can paint just about anything you want including furniture, floor cloths, wooden items, and they will teach you any style you’d like.

 

Do you like playing with fire? The West Michigan Glass Art Center offers classes in glassblowing, flameworking, kilnfusing and much more. Check out their website for a full list of classes and schedules.

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Explore the art of creating handmade paper, prints and books at the Kalamazoo Book Art Center. Located inside the Park Trades Center, KBAC offers a wide array of workshops for all ages. Visit the KBAC website for more information on fall workshops.

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Feeling adventurous? Head over to Climb Kalamazoo, southwest Michigan’s premier indoor rock climbing gym! The physical benefits of climbing are limitless, helping with cardiovascular health, muscle toning, and weight loss. Best of all it’s fun, rewarding, and you can brag to all of your friends about how awesome you’ve become at rock climbing!

Dancing is also another great health benefit and stress reliever. Take Wellspring  adult dance classes this fall and you’ll notice an increase in self confidence, improved health, and you’ll meet new people and make new friends! Find more dance class opportunities at The Station. 

If you’ve taken any of these classes, tell us about it. How did it benefit you and how did you manage to find time in your busy schedule? Your feedback will help encourage others to grow towards a more positive future and a fulfilling lifestyle. If there’s a class we forgot to mention that you’d like others to know about, leave a comment.

Al Fresco Dining Downtown

Summer is in full swing in downtown Kalamazoo, and what better way to soak up the sunshine and enjoy the breeze than a little ‘al fresco’ dining?

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Old Dog Tavern outdoor seating

More than twenty downtown restaurants, coffee shops and pubs provide outdoor seating options for your dining pleasure.  Whether you are starting the day out with a coffee and pastry at Black Owl Café, taking the crew out for lunch at Old Dog Tavern, or winding down the day with table side guacamole and cocktails at Casa Bolero, there are plenty of options to choose from.

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Skydeck

You can observe Michigan Avenue’s hubbub from Skydeck’s high vantage point, enjoy the peace and quiet of Bell’s beer garden, or choose something right in the middle at Mangia Mangia. Check out the brand new patio seating at the Union Cabaret and Grill, or head back to an old standby like Shakespeare’s Pub.  From Up & Under all the way down to Harvey’s on the Mall, every corner of downtown has a comfortable spot to enjoy a bite to eat in the fresh air.  You can even enjoy Plainwell ice cream for dessert at the Spirit of Kalamazoo’s colorful tables, tucked into a cozy corner on Portage Street.

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Spirit of Kalamazoo outdoor patio

LOOK OUTSIDE: Downtown Kalamazoo Patio Tour

Q&A with Tibbs Brewing Co. co-owner Kevin Tibbs

By West Michigan Beer Tours

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Downtown Kalamazoo is already home to Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and Olde Peninsula Brewpub, but the city is in the early stages of major craft beer growth.

There are five other brewery projects in various stages with Boatyard Brewing Co., Arcadia Brewing Co., Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Rupert’s Brew House and Tibbs Brewing Co.

West Michigan Beer Tours, a new Kalamazoo-based company offering public and private tours to the region’s breweries, as well as craft beer-friendly bars, restaurants and events, is excited to partner with these new breweries as they inch closer to opening. WMBT caught with Tibbs Brewing Co. co-owner Kevin Tibbs to get an update on his brewery, due to open at 402 S. Burdick St., near the Kalamazoo State Theatre.

WMBT: What is your tentative opening date?

Tibbs: We are planning to open in early fall – our goal is October.

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WMBT: How much work is left on the Burdick space?Tours

Tibbs: We’ve started some of the renovations already but there is still a lot that needs to be done.  We need to build the bar, paint, install the brewing system, and decorate.  It’s a smaller space so we think that when we begin work in earnest it will move along rather quickly.

WMBT: Describe some of the beers you plan to offer on the first day?

Tibbs: We are still determining our opening lineup. But tentatively, we are planning on our:

-Porter OG* 1.064, IBU** 27, ABV*** 7%

-Amber Ale OG 1.065, IBU 33, ABV 7.5%

-Stout OG 1.068, IBU 25, ABV 7.5%

-IPA OG 1.078, IBU 88, ABV 8.75%

-Citra Pale Ale OG 1.066, IBU 44, ABV 7.4%

We will also have a fall seasonal beer available along with our in house root beer (and possibly ginger ale and cream soda).

WMBT: Will you be participating in any upcoming events or offer a public tasting?

Tibbs: Until our licensing is completed we are not authorized to brew or sell our product legally.

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WMBT: What do you anticipate your annual production to be upon opening?

Tibbs: We are anticipating producing 75 bbl our first year.

WMBT: What type of food, if any, will Tibbs offer?

Tibbs: We are planning on offering fresh wraps, salads, and sandwiches (Panini’s). We will be open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday so we want to offer food that is quick and can be ordered ahead of time and picked up. We realize that many people working downtown don’t have enough time on their lunch break to sit down, order, wait for their food to arrive and eat so we want to offer good food that can be ready when they arrive or in a matter of minutes.

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Tibb’s Pale Ale and Belgian Tripel Ale

* OG = Original Gravity, measurement of the density of fermentable sugars in a mixture of malt and water.

** IBU = International Bittering Units, system of indicating the hop bitterness in finished beer.

*** ABV = Alcohol By Volume

How to contact Tibbs Brewing Co.:

Kevin@TibbsBrewing.com

Twitter @TibbsBrewing

www.facebook.com/TibbsBrewingCompany

How to contact West Michigan Beer Tours:

269-205-4894

info@westmichiganbeertours.com

aric@westmibeertours.com

@westmibeertours

www.facebook.com/WestMichiganBeerTours

Cheers!

West Michigan Beer Tours

See the Tibbs Brewing Company Facebook album 

Historic Homes Photo Contest

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PHOTO CONTEST! Take a photo of your favorite downtown historic home for $50 in Downtown Dollars!

CONTEST RULES
What to do: Snap a photo of a beautiful historic home from either the Vine, Stuart, Northside, Edison or West Douglas/Fairmont neighborhood and upload it to Instagram, Twitter, or the Downtown Kalamazoo Facebook page.

What to Include: Include the name of the neighborhood and hash tags ‪#‎HistoricHomes‬ ‪#‎DowntownKalamazoo‬.

Timeline: You have one week from today to post your photos. The winner will be announced Wednesday, July 17 via Facebook, Twitter, Downtown Kalamazoo Blog and the Downtown Kalamazoo website.

Good Luck!

Navigating Downtown on a “See-food Diet”

By Jennifer Ward, Owner of The Station

Food Dance, artisan cheese

Food Dance, artisan cheese

Our family has had the opportunity to visit many cities with our children in tow. Perhaps that is why we are naturally drawn to an urban environment for entertainment,dining and exploration. Cities fit neatly inside our comfort zone. Cities are easy. Cities offer flexibility. Cities don’t require massive planning for an outing with the kids, if you follow a “See-Food Diet.”

We started our travel diet when our kids were pretty young. Now that the kids are older, it still works, so we are sticking to it! The diet is very simple to follow:

  • If you are planning a whole day out: Have breakfast, have a plan for one or two more main meals (by plan, I mean, decide approximate timing and keep your eyes open for options as you move through the day. Make reservations for special restaurants that are likely to be busy).
  • As you experience your city: if you “see food” that looks interesting, tasty or one-of-a-kind, stop for a snack.

Bakeries, cafes, cheese shops, farmers markets and gelato stands have all been part of our master plan of exposing our kids to the world. Our food experience is part of the fabric of our vacations.

The great thing about the “See-Food Diet” is that the kids don’t even know that they have been played. The kids get to have special treats that are out of the norm. They stay happier about following Mom and Dad’s plan because we take regular breaks and avoid the low-blood-sugar meltdowns.

Downtown Kalamazoo’s revitalization means that we can recreate our urban exploration, right here at home. For a city of its size, Kalamazoo has a lot to offer in attractions and “See-Food.”

Some downtown attractions that work for families:

  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts: Reasonable admission fee and rotating exhibitions. Interactive gallery for kids.

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    Kalamazoo Valley Museum

  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Planetarium: Can you believe all the programs they put on for kids here? For free? Planetarium tickets are $3 and the programs change often.
  • Kalamazoo Public Library: Free programs for kids of all ages!
  • Concert in the Park: Bring a picnic and a blanket for a picnic. The concerts are free, so you can always leave when your kids (or you) need to go to bed.
  • Downtown shopping: If I have a quick shopping mission, I can visit the shops with kids because there are so many interesting things to see in so many of the shops.
  • Climb Kalamazoo: The whole family can do it!
  • Weekend morning bike ride: The traffic is quiet on weekend mornings and there are plenty of bike racks.

After you do something for the mind or body, it might be time for some “See Food”

  • Garden Gate Café: Children’s meals come with veggies! And, if the kids want the fabulous cupcakes in the cases, they better eat up!
  • Casa Bolero: Casa Bolero’s outdoor seating rivals any café abroad! There is kid-friendly fare on the menu, but watch out… your kids will start ordering the small plates from the regular menu and won’t share!
  • Nature’s Connection: Lots of kid-friendly items here and they sell Kalamazoo Kettle Corn.

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    Pop CIty Popcorn

  • Pop City Popcorn: Gourmet popcorn flavors… need I say more?
  • Tudor House Tea and Spice: Confection and baked good cases are irresistible. Give you kids an introduction to what good spices smell like while you stop.
  • Irving’s Deli: Nice stop for lunch and the baked goods case is awesome “See Food”. Try the Southern Butter Cake or the French Macaroons.
  • Bimbo’s Pizza: Great pizza, and you can call ahead to get your pizza started so you don’t have to wait too long once you sit down. Our kids feel special when they get their own little pizza.
  • Food Dance: You can order anything off of the menu to go. Perfect for your concert or picnic in Bronson Park. Try some cheese while you are there.
  • Festivals: Our favorites with the kids are the Greek Fest, Rib Fest, and Taste and     Brew…. Hmmm, they all are food-themed… go figure!

For us, nearly all evenings end at the Spirit of Kalamazoo for ice cream!

Urban explorers: bring your kids downtown! You will be surprised by all you can see, do and eat in Downtown Kalamazoo!