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My Town Kalamazoo: Local bar among Top 21 Thrillist theme bars

My Town Kalamazoo: Local bar among Top 21 Thrillist theme bars

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Kalamazoo Beer Exchange) — Fresh off their win as RateBeer’s “Best Bar in MI,” the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange – the only on the list in Michigan - has been named one of Thrillist’s 21 Best Theme Bars in America.

“Everyone who pays us a visit has a great time with The Exchange,” said Johanna Kelly, PR and Event Coordinator for The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange. “Whether you’re a Kalamazoo native or visiting from the other side of the globe, we’re the perfect place to discover incredible craft beer at ridiculously low prices in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Standing alongside established bars in large cities from Brooklyn to San Francisco, the inclusion of The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange reaffirms Kalamazoo’s status as a rising star in the Midwest’s cultural and craft beer movements, as well as highlighting the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange’s place as a cornerstone of Downtown Kalamazoo cool.

My Town: New restaurants to replace shuttered sports bar

My Town: New restaurants to replace shuttered sports bar

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A new set of restaurants will soon replaced a shuttered sports bar, plagued by police calls.

Gipper’s Sports Bar and Grille was auctioned off last year.  The bar lost its liquor license in January 2012, shortly after two shootings within three months at the bar.

My Town Kalamazoo: Coffee with a Cop March 20

My Town Kalamazoo: Coffee with a Cop March 20

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Community members are invited to enjoy some coffee while airing their concerns during “Coffee with a Cop” this Thursday, March 20.

Members of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will take questions and discuss the department’s work within neighborhoods during the event, which is meant to break down barriers, allowing for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Public Safety Officer Brandon Noble. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday at Fourth Coast Café, located 816 S. Westnedge Ave.  

My Town Kalamazoo: 'Habi Hour' takes over Bell's Brewery Feb. 25

My Town Kalamazoo: 'Habi Hour' takes over Bell's Brewery Feb. 25

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity hopes to mark a fundraising milestone during “Habi Hour” Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The benefit will unfold at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo. Through ticket sales and auctions, organizers hope to raise enough money to build, renovate and repair 12-16 homes this year.

“Habi Hour helps us raise critical funding to support our mission,” said Don Jones, Habitat’s executive director. “This is Habitat’s 31st year of helping qualified local families build, buy, and maintain affordable homes in our community. Wouldn’t it be great if we could raise $31,000 this year?”

Peruvian restaurant opens its doors in Kalamazoo

Peruvian restaurant opens its doors in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A new restaurant dishing up distinct ethnic cuisine is now open in Kalamazoo.

El Inka Peruvian Restaurant opened its doors to the public Wednesday, Feb. 5.  The restaurant is located at 563 N. Drake, across from Hardings. 

In a Facebook post on the eve of the restaurant’s opening, El Inka’s owners wrote, “We have been waiting for this day for over 12 years.”

El Inka is open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday.  The restaurant also offers event catering.  For more information, call (269) 978-2400.

Pure Michigan honoree to serve up his talents Feb. 26

Pure Michigan honoree to serve up his talents Feb. 26

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--  A Pure Michigan Culinary Star nominee will serve up his talents during a special event in Kalamazoo this month.

Nate Shaw, Webster’s prime supervisor at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in Kalamazoo, is up for the Pure Michigan 2014 Culinary Star of the Industry Award.  Before he finds out if he won, Shaw will showcase his signature style of local foods blended with Asian flavors at the Chef’s Table event Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Zazios Italian Restaurant at the Radisson in Kalamazoo.   The event, called “Sup with Shuko: An Homage to Bacha” will also feature beer, wine and sake pairings with each course.

Shaw was also nominated last year for the Pure Michigan Rising Culinary Star Award.  He’s known for his annual Farmer’s Appreciation Dinner, which has become a popular community-building event among local growers and vendors, and his beer vs.

West Michigan butchers heading to Florida for national meat-cutting competition

West Michigan butchers heading to Florida for national meat-cutting competition

KENTWOOD, Mich.— Two West Michigan butchers will put their skills to the test against nearly 90 other professionals from across the nation for a chance to be named Meat Cutter of the Year.

Shawn Foster of Kentwood and Marco Ruiz of Portage will travel to The Ice Factory in Kissimmee, Florida in late February for the competition.  The frigid conditions and large venue make it the perfect place to test the skills of master meat cutters.  Each competitor will be given 30-40 pounds of beef and a set amount of time to butcher it.  Cuts will be judged on quality, yield and speed.

The top eight meat cutters from the Feb. 25-26 matchups will move onto the final round, held on April 27 at Amelia Island, Florida.  The winner will get a grand prize of $20,000 and bragging rights.