Inside the State Street Marketplace and Monkey Fist Brewing Co.

From the outside we stand in mild nostalgia, adoring the colors and vintage charm of the renovated building. As we dote on the sweet apparel seen through the front window, the smell of fresh pizzas and artisan meats encourages us to head inside. Our eyes wander, falling upon kids giggling over arcade games, incredible Mediterranean spreads, and a man diving into an enviable-looking dish of barbecue. We walk in farther and discover a menu of artisan sausage and classic fries, Michigan-inspired T-shirts and a crowd gathering at the wooden bar. Our stomachs start to growl, and we reach a silent conclusion; this is our new go-to lunch and hangout venue.

On Wednesday, June 14, the MyNorth crew headed over to State Street Marketplace (329 E. State Street) to meet our new neighbors and munch on the vendors’ delights. We couldn’t have been more pleased. To be frank, the fries, the beer, the vintage apparel; we loved it all.

[Here’s the backstory about the new market.]

state street marketplace traverse city

The market is bound to become a new local favorite hub. The 4,500-square-foot establishment is home to Monkey Fist Brewing Company, an on-site craft brewery. In addition, the market features a number of local vendors and restaurants along with indoor and outdoor seating.

State Street Marketplace officially opened to the public Friday, June 16, and please, for your own good, go check it out!!

Here’s a peek inside.

state street marketplace traverse city

CraftedTC

Handmade, Michigan-inspired art pieces and racks full of American-made vintage toys are just a few items you can expect to find at Karen Hilt’s new store (Karen also owns My Secret Stash). “It’s kind of a fun conglomeration of different things that you might find in a marketplace,” Hilt says. “We will be representing the Monkey Fist brand so we have logos representative of their beer and just a fun mix of souvenirs.”

Despite the fact that all 10 market vendors run completely separate operations, the market really feels like a big common space where everyone is working together.

“State Street is like an open space,” Hilt says. “I think it’s going to create a really good sense of community, supporting people who have 30 minutes for a quick lunch break and those looking to spend the evening and hang out.”

In addition to Michigan artwork, CraftedTC will be making beer soap from the brews created in the Monkey Fist Brewery. The soap will be made right in the store so customers can look forward to watching the process.

“I’m excited to watch the beer soap being made—the more beer flavors they make the more beer soap we will make,” Hilt says. “You can expect to find items ranging anywhere from $5–$10. There is a huge range of stuff, something for everyone, and I’m super excited because there will be a large rotation in the store—you won’t see the same things every day.”

Paddle for Pints/Brew Bus

It’s the brew bus off wheels! Traverse City’s Troy Daily—owner and creator of Paddle for Pints, Brew Bus, Kayak, Bike & Brew and the TC Ale Trail—is bringing them all together at the State Street Marketplace.

“I will be focusing on making a fun, interactive merchandise and promotion area focusing on brewery tours in our area,” Daily says. “Paddle for Pints events end at Monkey Fist Brewing and will have a merchandise table, photo booth, arcade games and more to entertain people.”

Daily is expecting success due to the originality of the establishment and expectations for excellent food and beer.

“With a lot of our events ending here I think it will be a great stop because we will have a lot of interaction,” Daily says. “It will be a casual, laid-back area with price ranges from $2–$25.”

Wren the Butcher

Sitting in his black, gray and red plaid, Adam McMarlin, previous Chef de Cuisine at the Cooks’ House, references his outfit as an explanation for the aesthetic of his new artisan sausage restaurant. The name Wren the Butcher comes from his youngest daughter. A wren is a type of bird that is notable for being small yet quite loud, qualities similar to his youngest daughter. The logo is done in red and gray, and as his outfit at the time of this interview indicates, he is very comfortable with these colors.

The TC foodie wants to create a place where customers can grab good meats to accompany their beer. On Saturdays and Sundays, customers can delight in a menu of unique and tasty brunch options. The restaurant is located in the back corner of the market and is recognizable by the butcher-block bar top, stainless steel equipment and chalkboard menu that features 4–5 options which are expected to change with the seasons.

The transition [from the Cooks’ House to the State Street Marketplace] is going to be a little crazy,” McMarlin says. “State Street will definitely be higher volume. I’ve been doing fine cuisine for a while now and I’m excited to do something a little faster paced and more casual; it should be a really fun environment.”

You can look forward to an ever-rotating menu of savory and hearty dishes. Right now, current features include four different varieties of sausages, a unique duck confit dish—”Quack & Cheese”, couscous and risotto dishes, and housemade fries (we tried them, and they’re incredible!).

Waxwing Vintage

In the front window, the vibrant colors and eclectic style of Waxwing Vintage are the first things you notice when heading to the marketplace. After a lifetime of collecting all things vintage, Jenny Cesolini is starting up this shop as her first solo venture.

“When I was a kid I remember climbing through boxes in my family’s basement, the attic, my grandmas’ houses, all with the hope that I’d come across treasures,” Cesolini says. “I was a hand-me-down kid so I got a lot of stuff that was 5, 10, 15 years old that just happened to fit, so it’s kind of been ingrained in me to look for the treasures in the things people already enjoyed once—and to give them new life.”

The name for the shop evolved from the passion for birds that Cesolini and her husband share.

“We came up with a list of our favorite birds and kind of just started testing how they would sound,” Cesolini said. “The color scheme of the store is inspired by the colors of the Waxwing bird; warm grays, bright reds and yellows. For me, I find it so thrilling to match the right person with the right set of clothes. I can’t wait!”

F-QUE

On the left side of the venue, aromas of homemade pizza, burgers, wings and BBQ make your mouth water.

F-Que has a four-division menu: Que, Wings, Pizza and Burgers. The Que section of the menu is based on their love for and use of worldly spices. As they say it, “We took the approach of less smoke and more regional flavor using dry rubs with Asian and Latin influences while keeping local flavor in mind.”

state street marketplace traverse city

Ziatun Café

While the MyNorth crew was visiting the market we enjoyed a plate of Ziatun Café’s hummus. On the plate was a generous portion of hummus with olive oil, seasonings and fresh mint adorning the tasty spread. Warm pita circled the side of the plate which was perfect for sharing and to accompany our drinks.

The menu of Ziatun Cafe is split into four parts: rolled, mezze—meant to share, freshly baked and drinks. A glass encasement serves as the checkout and order counter from which your eyes and stomach can shop. You can select from an array of different Mediterranean spreads and delights. Expect to find falafel wraps, beef and chicken shawarma, grape leaves, tabbouleh, fattoush, baklawa, tahini shortbread cookies and more.

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