2012-04-19 / Local News

Restaurant, B&B to open on M-22

By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

The new owner of a restaurant and inn formerly known as North introduced himself to the Cleveland Township Board last week.

Graeme Leask, formerly of Alto, said he and his wife are purchasing the historic property on M-22 directly across from Little Traverse Lake and hope to open a new restaurant there by Memorial Day.

Leask appeared at the meeting to answer questions from the board, which approved a liquor license transfer to Leask’s “Little Traverse Inn, L.L.C.” from “Centennial Inn, L.L.C.,” the former owner and operator of North.

The board’s decision to endorse the liquor license transfer was 4-0, with clerk Jan Nemeskal absent.

Leask said the Little Traverse Inn will offer “relaxed family dining similar to an English pub.”

In addition to opening a new restaurant, he said plans are in place to refurbish space upstairs in the building for four “bed and breakfast” units at the inn. Leask said he expected his business could add up to 20 new jobs in Cleveland Township.

Leask said his wife will manage the kitchen and food service end of the business and he will manage the rest.

North closed in December 2010, and the property has been on the market since then. No sales price was disclosed. The property has been used as an inn and restaurant on Little Traverse Lake for more than a century.

The original building was built in 1890. It was sold to the owners of North in 2005, having been owned and operated for the previous 21 years as the Leelanau Country Inn by the Sisson family of Leland.

In other business at its regular monthly meeting April 10, the Cleveland Township Board:

• Learned that its next regular monthly meeting will be rescheduled to Wednesday, May 9 because of an election to decide a Glen Lake Community Schools bond proposal. Polls will be open at the township hall Tuesday, May 8 when the board would normally meet.

• Discussed progress in getting the township’s park on Little Traverse Lake ready for spring and summer activities. Township supervisor Tim Stein said a boat launch will be in operation by next week, and picnic tables will be refurbished, among other improvements.

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