We entered 2021 with a sense of a hope. Last year was, by almost every measure, horrible. However, two vaccines for COVID-19 have been approved, and that means a return to normalcy may now be in sight.
On Lowell’s First Look, our top stories last month also focused on new beginnings and positive plans for the city. Here’s a look at the most-read articles based on website views, during January 2021.
Last year, the Michigan Legislature gave communities the option to create social districts where people can purchase alcoholic beverages from participating establishments and enjoy them outside in common areas. The goal behind the districts is to support local businesses, particularly restaurants which have either been closed to indoor dining or subject to capacity limits for nearly a year. This article, highlighting Lowell’s plans for a social district, was the fifth most-read article in January. We’re told the social district will debut next Friday, February 12, with warming stations along the Riverwalk and on Monroe Street.
Greg Canfield has been instrumental in a number of projects in downtown Lowell, from creating the Main Street Inn to renovating the former Superior Furniture factory. However, before any of that, he founded Canfield Plumbing & Heating. Now, after 27 years on the job, he’s retired. While he still owns the business, he has passed the reins for daily operations to a capable staff. This article, outlining Canfield’s retirement and the future of the business, was among the top articles of last month.
3. Furry Friday
We have been publishing Furry Friday every week for years. Each edition highlights dogs and cats that are available from local rescues, and each edition has roughly the same number of readers. Then, one week in January, the number of readers for Furry Friday doubled. The following week, the column had triple the number of normal readers. We’re not sure if more people were sharing because we updated the cover photo (isn’t that little dog adorable?!), but Furry Friday makes the top five list for the month for January.
New Union Brewery has its own little social district going on at its property on the corner of Main and Hudson Streets. The brewery has set up warming stations and tents where people can enjoy drinks outside. Late last year, they also began hosting the Voodoo Foodoo Truck on a regular basis. Our article highlighting the truck and its signature Vooritos was the second most read article on Lowell’s First Look in January 2021.
The top article of the month was also about food. This story shared plans for the building at the corner of Main and Riverside. That location was the home of Springrove Variety until owner Mike Sprenger retired last year. If all goes well, it will turn into a Mexican restaurant this year. To be clear, this is a different restaurant from the one we wrote about last year. That restaurant – planned for the former Serenity Club building – is still a go to the best of our knowledge although it has been delayed by the pandemic. That means Lowell residents could have two options for authentic Mexican fare by the end of the year.