Grocery Pop-up in Empire

Local Restaurant Offers Groceries

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and affect daily life, one Empire business is doing what it can to support the community. Frank Lerchen, owner of the Empire Village Inn and Joe’s Friendly Tavern, is opening a pop-up grocery store to address the need for local food. The market sells fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, pantry essentials, paper goods and cleaning supplies. Beer and wine are also available for sale.

On Monday, March 22, Governor Whitmer issued a “Stay Safe, Safe Home” order. This order closed all non-essential businesses in the state and requires that residents stay home with the exception of essential work, for necessary supplies, or for outdoor exercise. Empire is without a permanent grocery store, and so Lerchen is filling the need for this essential business. The hope is that offering groceries in Empire will reduce the need for residents to travel to other towns to find supplies. Lerchen says the pop-up will remain open as long as there is a need.

The pop-up store is located at the Empire Village Inn on M-22. It will be open daily, holding the same hours as the Village Inn. Those hours are 11 am – 8 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 11 am – 9 pm Friday and Saturday. The Village Inn remains open for takeout food and pizza. Their menu can be accessed online.

Curbside delivery is available for both groceries and take-out. Call the Village Inn at 231.326.5101 to place your order.