Benton Harbor Arts District And The Ideal Post Senior PGA

As we wrote last week the senior PGA tour came to Benton Harbor.  The arts district, the biggest renovated area of benton harbor flanks the golf course, and is full of art studios, restaurants and cafe’s.  There was great expectation of what this would do for Benton Harbor and the arts district, would it put them back on the map?

It is clear there is still a division between the brass that wants to create a world class community, with the center of it being a golf course, and the local community who want to produce, build the area, create and make a living…and this is shown in the post week follow up of the arts district.

During the even it was clear to see that the golf event and the arts district where distinctly two different things and places.  There was no osmosis between the two, and it seems that the pga did its best to keep all the golf viewers on site, and not flow into the arts district area.  Their were virtual human walls all around, they had food, they had drink they had entertainment…so why go to the arts district.

The local community was expecting big crowds and traffic, and there were, on the golf course.  They had their own parking and were even busing and trollying people in from miles away, ushered through the arts district, with nary a stop or a view to go right to the golf course.

During the event it was easy to find parking in the arts district, easy to get around, to the contrary of the fears of many locals who stayed away.  This staying away, as well as most golf viewers staying on site  resulted in lackluster activity for local restaurants.  The general feeling is that everyone OVER ORDERED, having a lot of excess inventory.

Last night we went back to The Ideal Place after a month away, and the feeling was the same, although our meal was great.  Not too hungry went the app route, crab dip with fried oysters, beet salad tasty with nuts and feta cheese and a chicken sausage pizza.

The bar was quiet for a Saturday, but reservations were full, so it seems like people are coming back.  New beers on tap and in bottle as well…go check out the arts district and The Ideal in Benton Harbor…there is a lot waiting for you.

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