2018-03-04 / Insight

Downtown renovations of Metamora buildings continue this winter

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan @mihomepaper.com

METAMORA — Progress continues this winter on the redevelopment of the southeast corner of Metamora’s downtown intersection of South Oak Street and Dryden Road.

White Horse Inn owners Victor Dzenowagis and his wife Linda Egeland last summer purchased the former Metamora Muffler and Best Tyme Party Store across the street from their iconic destination restaurant.

The 5,000-square-foot former auto shop and party store are currently being renovated into one space — from which three businesses will operate. The repurposed building, originally constructed in the 1920s, will house a market, coffee shop/ wine bar and a retail store.

The repurposed building will include a large heated terrace on the exterior (north side) that will be covered by a portico reminiscent of the coverings found in vintage gas stations. The terrace will be used for both seating and selling seasonal items — and will be used for special weekend events, such as cider and homemade donut sales in the fall and a Christmas market with mulled wine during the holidays.

The party store will stay on the south side of the building and is being converted into more of a market, while still retaining liquor, beer, wine, cigarettes and snack sales. The center of the building will be occupied by a coffee shop that will have cappuccino, expresso, lattes and various flavored iterations found in any upscale coffee shop. It will also sell fresh pastries, desserts and a small selection of panini sandwiches.

The east side of the building will be used for eclectic retail sales from which customers may purchase White Horse branded merchandise.

The coffee shop/wine bar will open sometime this spring.

The Dryden Township couple reopened the iconic restaurant at the northeast corner of High and Oak streets in November 2014 after they purchased and spent nearly $3.1 million to renovate the building. Established in 1850, the White Horse was the longest continually operating restaurant in Michigan until it unexpectedly closed in November 2012 in need of major repairs.

The couple also purchased two one-story brick buildings north of Harmer Park on North Oak Street. The buildings will be converted into a four-bedroom boutique motel. If the motel business does well and demand warrants, they may construct additional buildings on the property and add more rooms to the yet unnamed motel that between them they’re calling “The Livery.”

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