A Shopper’s Mecca
Gaylord has truly developed into Northern Michigan’s shopping hub. Otsego County has been No. 1 in per capita retail spending (money spent divided by number of population) in the state since 2007, eclipsing Grand Traverse County, according to the Otsego County Economic Alliance.
Several stores on Main Street have recently taken advantage of Michigan Economic Development Council grants, which matched private funds for the purpose of updating facades and improving energy efficiency. This has given downtown Gaylord a fresh, often colorful, look.
Downtown Gaylord continues to offer a little bit of something for everyone. From the popular Alpine Tavern, which was renovated to add a sports bar in 2012 to the eclectic lounge atmosphere of The Bearded Dogg to longtime local favorites Diana’s Delights and Arlene’s Diner, come hungry when visiting Main Street.
Unique shops also call downtown home, including long-standing hits Saturn Booksellers, Alpine Chocolat Haus and Hogan’s Jewelers and the new Ash Tobacco, which offers a throwback experience fresh with an interesting array of men’s accessories. Furniture, antiques and pet supplies are among the treasures to be uncovered downtown.
The Gaylord area is also home to a number of unique resale shops, including the impressive new Salvation Army Thrift Store, which opened last year at 919 S. Otsego Ave.
Seams Like New, located on Main Street, is a coffee shop and upscale consignment store with a cause. A division of Crossroads Industries, a nonprofit organization that creates jobs and opportunities for people with disabilities, this business not only houses a top-notch coffee bar but also boasts a cool and cozy atmosphere.
Resale stores carrying everything from clothing to home goods to books can be found at all corners of Otsego County.
There is also plenty of name-brand shopping to go around. Popular craft store Hobby Lobby has made its entrance in the plaza that already features Big Lots and Dunham’s Sports.
T.J. Maxx appeared on the list of retailers in Gaylord, offering name-brand clothing at low prices. With periodic new shipments, the store always shelves fresh clothing items, jewelry and home and other goods. The store is located at a prime location, between Kohl’s and Office Max and across the road from Meijer. Rue21, a young adult clothing store, opened in 2012 in the Edelweiss Plaza near Walmart.
Popular restaurants that opened in 2012 included franchises Qdoba and Jimmy John’s. A taste of the north can also be found at the new Wilderness Meats and Deli, which features ranch-raised products, adding to the multitude of culinary choices both on, and off, the beaten path.
These and many other established boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants and watering holes have all had a hand in increasing Otsego County’s standing as a shopping hot spot.