Isabel's Market + Eatery Open in Douglas
DOUGLAS — A specialty market and year-round event center is open in Douglas.
Isabel’s Market + Eatery opened to the public Thursday, Sept. 17.
“Thank you so much for the love and support yesterday,” the business wrote on its Facebook page Friday.
The business is a collaboration of seven female business owners, including Elizabeth Estes and Mary Fechtig, co-owners of Coast 236 Restaurant and Bar; Mindy Trafman, general manager and chef at Coast 236; Vicky Cobb, a former chemist; Garnet Lewis, a current member of the Saugatuck City Council; Christine Bridger, co-owner of Company + Cottage; and Julie Longwell of Meraki Social.
The all-female team chose its name from a prominent woman in Douglas’ history, Isabel G. Graham. She was the daughter of Hugh Graham, who built Douglas United Church of Christ.
Among Graham’s legacy was her blue chip stock donation to the church — of which at least four business partners are members — that still benefits DUCC and local charities today.
Isabel’s has a year-round market with meat, produce, seafood, a full bar, a street food grill and a bakery. Take-out meals are available to customers, given their increased popularity during the ongoing pandemic.
The 1.13-acre site at 310 Blue Star Highway — the former location of Zing Eat/Drink and Blue Moon Bar & Grille — went through extensive renovations before completion, with more than $1.5 million invested in creating the new business.
Originally expected to open in May, construction on the project was delayed due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order in late March.
“We feel horrible for the guys on the construction crew who have done an amazing job, and now are without work for a while,” the company wrote on its Facebook page March 24.
“But we know it is in the best interest of their health and the health of the community at large. As soon as it’s safe and OK to continue, we will get back to work.”
In mid-August, the company announced it had hired Michael Borraccio as its executive chef. Borraccio was most recently head chef at Grove in Grand Rapids, which closed and reopened as Jimmy Berger’s Chicken Shack in early May.
Borraccio’s family has owned Lino’s, a restaurant in Rochester, Michigan, for more than four decades.
“He grew up by his grandmother’s side in the kitchen and traveled extensively to Italy, immersing himself in the culture and food scene,” Isabel’s wrote.
Classes are also available at the restaurant. The courses are led by Sue Chaitin, co-owner and operator of Ottawa Beach Inn in Holland, The Mermaid Bar and Grill and Baldy’s Smoked Meats in Saugatuck and Matchbox Diner and Drinks in Grand Rapids.
All classes are demonstrations. Currently, social-distancing is maintained in each course with a maximum registration of 12 students.
While Isabel’s will eventually be open seven days a week, current hours are 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Visit isabelsmarket.com for more information.