Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Beachside BrisaBar at Campus Martius Debuts
The beachside BrisaBar at Campus Martius Park, run by the Iconic Collection in Birmingham, officially debuted last week after a soft launch.
The establishment offers guests a fresh, contemporary culinary experience in addition to views of downtown Detroit and “outstanding people-watching,” according to the operators.
“Our team has created a sumptuous escape right in the center of the city and people have responded,” says Zaid Elia, founder of the Iconic Collection. “BrisaBar has quickly become the place in Detroit to see and be seen this summer.
“Our menu ingredients are fresh, summery, and very approachable. Our specialty cocktails with names like Kiss by the Beach, Havana Hurricane, and Motown Mojito carry the vibe to the next level and are complemented by our Bubbly Bar, a selection of Champagnes, wines, beers and more.”
The sensations of the cuisine and cocktail menus and culinary selections are further heightened by the outdoor dining atmosphere, live music, and guest DJs.
Occupying the space formerly known as The Fountain Detroit, BrisaBar seats guests around a sprawling bar and deck, surrounded by sand, overlooking Campus Martius Park. There also are dining tables and lounge chairs available at The Beach at the park.
The menu includes fresh greens, shared bites, and Brisa dishes. The bar features cold, refreshing drinks. The Bubbly Bar “takes mimosas to a whole new level” with a tableside Champagne caddy featuring fresh fruit, champagne, and juice.
Happy Hour runs weekdays from 3-6 p.m. and specials include $12 Brisa Bites, $8 specialty cocktails and slushies, $6 seltzers, and $5 beers or 5 for $20 buckets of beer. The Bubbly Bar, Champagne and wines also are available. BrisaBar is also open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday.
For the complete BrisaBar menus, visit here.
State Electric Co. in Holly Opens New Headquarters
State Electric Co., a provider of electric vehicle charging and renewable energy solutions, conducted its grand opening and ribbon cutting at the new headquarters in Holly on June 17.
The company has been a family-owned business for more than 17 years and its team has extensive training and experience as electrical contractors. State Electric Co. has a group of certified EV charging station installers, partnering with companies like Enel X WAY to be on the leading edge of EV technology and trends and energy solutions, the company says. It services both commercial and residential properties throughout Michigan and most other states.
Renewable energy is integral to its growth, according to the company, not only as a business but for the world.
State Electric installs chargers for electric vehicles, offer solutions for battery storage, solar panel set up, microgrid connections, and other renewable energy solutions. It partners with industry leaders such as Qmerit, DTE, and ENEL X WAY (the largest producer of worldwide energy solutions).
Detroit River Story Lab Embarks on Second Skiff and Schooner Program
The Detroit River Story Lab’s Skiff and Schooner Program is setting sail for its second summer, this time accommodating more students in its quest to foster connection between the river and its communities.
“The story of the Detroit River is the story of the ongoing cultural, environmental, and economic transformation of our region,” says David Porter, faculty lead of the initiative and professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Michigan. “Our schooner program aboard the tall ship Inland Seas will provide over 300 Detroit-area students the opportunity to experience the river’s beauty and bounty for themselves, and to explore its many-layered connections with their own lives and the lives of their local communities.”
The initiative has 15 three-hour education sails scheduled from June 23 to July 5. Students from 15 Detroit high schools, two colleges, and six youth-serving organizations will board the schooner throughout the summer to learn about various topics focused on the environmental and cultural history of the Detroit River, ranging from marine biology and wildlife restoration to the Underground Railroad.
Students will be taught by staff of the Suttons Bay Inland Seas Education Association, DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center, U-M faculty, and local experts. Between sails, the Inland Seas schooner will be docked near the lighthouse at Milliken State Park.
The Detroit River Story Lab and the Green Door Initiative received a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to help fund this summer’s river-themed educational programming.
Additional partners include the Charles Wright Museum, DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit Historical Society, Detroit River Project, Inland Seas Education Association and Riverside Marina.
Ann Arbor Science and Nature Center Invites Public to Help Build Playscape Project
The Leslie Science & Nature Center in Ann Arbor is inviting the community to explore its new Nature Playscape online or in-person as ongoing construction continues to expand its offerings.
The current outdoor site features an active play area including a tunnel, underground slide, and a loose parts exploration area. In addition, LSNC announces that Ann Arbor residents Linh and Dug Song have stepped forward to support the project and continue its growth with the addition of a $150,000 gift to fund the water exploration area and a $50,000 matching challenge for the community. This gift comes from the Song Family Fund from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.
“We know firsthand with our own children the importance of safe outdoor spaces to explore together, and we are grateful for so many right here in our community, like the Leslie Science & Nature Center,” says Linh Song.
“We’re proud to support the Nature Playscape project and we challenge the community to join us to support this incredible outdoor space,” says Dug Song.
The Nature Playscape is designed with inclusivity in mind. Accessibility is built in as much as possible, allowing all individuals to have access to a majority of the space, and opt-in within their comfort level. The future water play feature has several water pumps, and includes an intentional design element requiring multiple children’s participation to engage enough water to use certain features. This encourages collaboration and facilitates different experiences depending on how many people are using the space at one time.
“By building the playscape in phases, we are able to install areas as we receive funding and allow the public to engage with it and enjoy it as we expand,” says Susan Westhoff, executive director of LSNC. “The entirety of the playscape will remain free for everyone in our community to come enjoy together. We believe the Nature Playscape is a huge investment not just in our future, but in the future generations of our community. We see this as a place where children of all ages and abilities can learn and play with all of these diverse areas, materials and features through sensory, fine and gross motor experiences.”
Questions or inquiries about the Nature Playscape can be directed to email@example.com. Donations can be made here.
FlintNOW Foundation Teams with Local Artist to Renovate Basketball Courts
The FlintNOW Foundation, created by Detroit Pistons owner and Flint native Tom Gores, is partnering with Genesee County Parks Commission and Flint native Jamiersen Green to renovate basketball courts in three parks throughout the county.
The first location, Windiate Park, was completed over the weekend, and the freshly painted court was unveiled during a Juneteenth celebration on Sunday.
“I’ve always believed the most impactful solutions come from people on the ground, in the community working together to make a difference,” says Gores. “The tireless efforts of local residents to provide safe spaces for kids are truly admirable. I’m proud we could bring everyone together and leverage their vision and creativity to make Windiate Park a vibrant place for children to play.”
Funding for the three park projects is provided in part by a $100,000 grant from the FlintNOW Foundation. In addition to the mural at Windiate Park, courts at William Durant Park and Riverside West Park will be resurfaced and rehabilitated over the next 18 months.
“Community voice and equity are the driving forces in the work that we do, and this collaboration put those factors front center,” says Nancy Edwards, recreation programs and grants officer for Genesee County Parks. “Windiate Park represents so many things, but unity, transformation, and hope are the main ingredients, and the new court design brings those elements to life. We are grateful to Tom Gores, FlintNOW, Jamiersen Green, and Shareka and the Howard family for their continued support of our parks and our community.”
The idea for the parks program originated with Green, an artist and Flint native who founded Leader Quality, a multidimensional creative agency. Green previously has worked with the Pistons organization and approached the FlintNOW Foundation about working together.
The court mural unveiled Sunday in Windiate Park was designed by Green with input from community stakeholders, including Shareka Howard of Howard’s Helping Hands.
“The hands on the court represent people from all cultures and genders, reaching together in common cause, which is to inspire and lift up the people of Flint,” says Green. “Community and equality are the inspiration for this design, as well as the shared goal of ensuring all voices are heard across our city. I’m grateful for the collective efforts of FlintNOW, the Detroit Pistons, Genesee County, and Shareka Howard throughout this project.”