Monday, January 11, 2010

My Town Monday: Mr. B's Rustic Tavern and the Story of the Missing Awning

In Downtown Howell, there is a restaurant called Mr. B's Rustic Tavern. Nice enough place (though rather loud for me-- one of those places that plays music and sports and stuff. And I think I went there on a Friday night, which is usually my restaurant-avoidance-time.)

This restaurant is located in a historic building on the corner of the two main cross roads in town. Mr. B's sits on the Southwest corner of the intersection. A person (or semi-truck) heading to I-96 would make a left turn from westbound Grand River onto Southbound Michigan Ave.

It's important to note that the downtown area is kind of small, and cramped. Michigan Ave is barely three lanes, with no on street parking at the intersection. This is important. This is also part of the reason why semi-trucks are not supposed to travel through the downtown. (I believe the exception is actual deliveries in the downtown.)

There is a green awning above the windows of Mr. B's Rustic Tavern. It goes along Grand River and... huh, it doesn't go around the corner onto Michigan Ave.

Actually, it used to. I never did get a shot of the scene any of times it happened... but the story goes something like this. Repeatedly, the awning would get nailed by, presumably, a large semi-truck and be crinkled up. The street light on the corner also suffered in these cases. I never saw it, but it's hard not to surmise the scenario when one sees a mowed down street light, a crumpled awning, and tire marks on the curb. Plus the fact that it's a dreadful tight corner that would be hard-- if not impossible-- for a semi truck to mange.

You can still see where the awning used to be. Eventually, the street light was no longer replaced and the awning was truncated. I imagine there are still too-big-semi-trucks that think they got the mad skillz to make that corner and still ride over the curve.

Every time I go by, I still curse the fact that I never got a "before" shot of the damage.


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