THREE OAKS — The “amazing event space” at 19 North (located upstairs from Froehlich’s Kitchen & Pantry in downtown Three Oaks) was filled with Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce members during a Thursday, Feb. 6, Mixer.

Chamber Member Services Director Kimberly Wendt welcomed the large group, adding that this was the first mixer with no cap on the number of participants. She thanked Froehlich’s for providing “wonderful food and drink,” before introducing Colleen Froehlich to give some background on the Three Oaks mainstay’s recent expansion.

Froehlich said she was constantly asked “When are you gone do more?” when it came to sit-down dining, dinner off-site catering and other services. She said transforming the former Three Oaks Pharmacy building into the current Froehlich’s Kitchen & Pantry facility “was quite an expansive project as you can see, so it took a little longer than we expected … but I’ve never been one to bite off something I don’t finish.”

“We’re doing a little more of everything we were doing in a bigger, grander space,” she added.

The Froehlich’s Kitchen and Pantry restaurant, which made its debut in June of 2019 with a Chamber Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, serves lunch and dinner while the deli offers homemade pantry items, specialty foods and a carry-out with a market-vibe on the first floor.

The 19 North upstairs event space is available for weddings and celebrations. Expansive windows spread light on the antique plastered walls and original tin ceiling. There’s also a bridal suite, catering kitchen and private event entry with elevator.

Downstairs in the new Kitchen & Pantry, Froehlich said they worked to duplicate the look of the original Froehlichs’ (which carries on across Elm Street as Froehlich’s Bakery).

Upstairs Froehlich said they strived to keep as much of the original structure as possible (featuring beautiful beams and ceiling, a dark wood floor and original walls.

Froehlich noted that every window had to be replaced in the building.  

During the Feb. 6 Mixer Froehlich thanked Bee Entertainment and the evening’s featured winery, Hickory Creek (which she said will be featured at a Feb. 28 Winemaker Dinner at 19 North — for more go to www.shopfroehlichs.com).

Brian Kaylon of Bee Entertainment later called Wendt and her fiancé, Scott Schneckenburger, to the dance floor for a toast after announcing that they were getting married “next Friday.”

Wendt said new Chamber members attending the Feb. 6 mixer (identified with gold stars on their name tags) included: Mike Nygren and Zach Palm of Potawatomi Country Club; Betsy Locklin and Dallas Smith, owners of Design Smith Spaces;

She said Amy Shultz of Dablon Winery and Vineyard; Fern Hollingshead of Teachers Credit Union; and Cathy Sturm of Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail were attending their first mixer.

Wendt welcomed back Mike Nadolski and Chris Woodruff of Lake Michigan College  and Fran Terry and Debbie Jacobson of Country Heritage Credit Union (Nadolski later talked about a series of upcoming events at LMC’s Mendel Center including the 1 p.m. Feb. 29 Winter Delights Festival  — the largest indoor festival on Southwest Michigan).

She then introduced the new Executive Director of The Pokagon Fund, Dan Petersen.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he said. “I started on Monday and I’m learning so much about the communities that are new to me, but I can tell that they’re full of vibrancy and people and organizations who really care,” he said.

Petersen said he has received a warm reception and looks forward to “working with many of you.”

John Dooley (of Dooley’s Lake House Pub) talked about the New Buffalo St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled for Saturday, March 7 (with an 11 a.m. step-off time).

He said the inaugural event. a “big deal for the community,” is for “all surrounding areas” within 50 miles.

“At 9:30 a.m. we’re going to be turning the Galien River Green, just our sister city not too far away … called Chicago,” he said.

Dooley said the event is being advertised all over the region, and as of Feb. 6 there were 30 floats lined up for the procession.

“We also have 100 custom choppers, classic cars, we have bagpipers, we have the police, we have the motorcade police, we have fire, Power and Motion has committed to three of their teams,” he said. “There’s plenty of opportunity for those who own businesses. We encourage you to please be a part of this.”

Wendt noted that the 2020 Harbor Country Chamber Guide will be unveiled at a Spring Break Out Party open to the public and scheduled for March 26 at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks with live music by the Andrew Fisher Quarte.

She said last year’s attendance was over 300, and urged everyone to get tickets early.

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