The pharmacy in downtown Lakeview Michigan now serves as a hair salon and an art space for exhibits and classes. Visit many small towns in West Michigan and you'll probably find the pharmacist's daughter or grand-daughter running a business in the brick storefront on Main. CVS and Walgreens and Rite Aids have all drawn the pharmacy customers out of downtown and over toward the corners of major streets. So the daughters maintain the legacy in the old space.
The Lakeside Inn, with a delicious view of Tamarack Lake, had gone dark for Saturday, probably searching for a new owner with renovation ambitions. Across the street, McKenna's Village hosted the annual fundraising party of the South Mecosta Whitetail Improvement society. I failed to win the shotgun on raffle. McKenna's rings true as an Irish pub according to my personal metric. In an Irish pub, it's a matter of hours not days before one meets the owner. So I ordered my dinner, the New York Strip priced like a sizzler. It was as close as I was going to get to venison, and all the deer hunters and their families were tucking into dinners featuring red meat. "Rare, Medium or Well-Done?" she asks. "Chef's choice", I answered.
Two minutes later, a man walks over to me from I have little idea where. He wasn't in ear shot when I ordered.
"I've never heard a man order his steak 'chef's choice'".
"The cook knows the cut of meat. If it's too rare, we can throw it back on the fire".
"Just passing through"?
So I state my mission, compliant to the common wind. I'm looking for the context of 1920 in Lakeview. "You'll want to talk to Tom at the garage on the north side of town. He has all kinds of pictures up in his waiting room".
I thank him. He goes back to the kitchen. Probably to talk to the cook, who had been puzzled or conflicted by the waitress's instructions.
I ask my waitress. "Who was the man who just left".
"Brian McKenna, Greg's brother. Greg owns the place".
Owner test passed in thirty minutes. McKenna's is an Irish pub.