Booze Cruise

August 7, 2006
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Cool places: Far be it for the Business Journal to call it. But we can tell you that

Ionia Avenue
hotspot McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon sure sells a lot of booze. The latest Michigan Liquor Control Commission sales numbers show McFadden's on a breakneck pace to rank No. 2 among KentCounty's Class C liquor licenses.

The BOB is pretty much a lock to repeat as the top-selling area tavern. Year-to-date sales of $255,540 eclipse everybody, setting a pace to top its $521,645 last year. The AmwayGrandPlaza remains the area's highest selling hotel-licensed liquor seller, with $123,407 to date.

McFadden's sold $144,670 in hooch in the first half of the year, besting the neighboring Taps Sports Bar/48 West complex by $50,000 and setting a pace to dwarf Taps' 2005 sales of $220,804, the county's third-best selling bar last year.

With this, McFadden's also leapfrogs ahead of Monte's and O'Toole's Public House, the Monte and David Reinert-owned Bridge Street bars that took last year's No. 2 and 4 spots, respectively, with $277,283 and $180,210 in sales. Both have yet to break $90,000 this year. Monte's was closed for several months this year, and its loss of revenue is reflected in others' gains.

Although sales remain consistent with 2005, Billy's Lounge in Eastown ($78,669 to date; $158,473 last year; No. 6) may also drop down a notch, as may the third part in the Ionia Avenue power trio, J. Gardella's Tavern ($80,611; $160,578; No. 5).

If it continues at its current pace, the oft-renamed The Boss in AmericanSeatingPark, currently known as The Level, could snag the No. 3 spot. Its current incarnation has year-to-date sales of $113,603, already $20,000 over its 2005 finish.

Mulligan's Pub in Eastown, which clocked in at No. 7 last year, appears poised for a run. It had sales of $85,136 to date, besting all but three of last year's top 10.

Woody's Press Box in Wyoming ($77,134; $128,269; No. 9) is ahead of its 2005 pace, but still trending at No. 10.

It should be noted that these numbers represent the relative value of the liquor sold, as purchased from the LLC. Actual sales could be much higher.

Also worth pointing out is that of this year's projected Top 10 bars, only Woody's is located outside of the near downtown area, with seven entrants in downtown proper and two in Eastown.

  • The sound of Spectrum Health's Aero Med overhead usually signals trauma in West Michigan, as the helicopter handles the region's most serious (and time-sensitive) accidents and injuries.

Ever wonder how much one of those puppies costs?

Last week Spectrum filed documents with the Alliance for Health to replace an Aero Med helicopter for a cool $11.135 million. Spectrum officials hope to pay for the replacement with proceeds from a tax-exempt bond issue.

  • When you say you're No. 1, that's nice. But when others peg you for the top spot, that's a better story. Especially when those "others" are your clients.

Priority Health is the No. 1-rated health plan in Michigan, according to the Alliance for Health and the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH). This is the fourth consecutive year that Priority Health has earned the No. 1 spot in Michigan

"These ratings are especially gratifying because it comes from employers, who pay the majority share of health care costs," said KimberlyHorn, president and CEO for Priority Health. "The Alliance for Health and NBCH do an extremely thorough job in measuring health plan quality. Their findings affirm our commitment to improving the quality and affordability of health care throughout our communities."

NBCH collected responses from more than 250 health plans nationwide using eValue8, a leading tool for measuring the quality of health care. (That would be pronounced "evaluate." It's kind of like a personalized license plate.) Each health plan was rated in nine areas, ranging from the level of engagement with consumers and physicians to specific processes and systems used to improve health quality. Priority Health set the national benchmark in engaging its members, managing chronic diseases, and targeting prevention programs.

"We are very proud of Priority Health's performance," said LodyZwarensteyn, president of the Alliance for Health, a coalition member of NBCH. "As an early pioneer in the development of eValue8, we are especially pleased with how far the program has progressed in pinpointing health plan quality and performance. Priority Health's high scores in the eValue8 program clearly demonstrate to area employers and their employees the commitment and value they bring to our market."

  • Gemini Publications bid farewell to one of its interns Friday, MichiganStateUniversity student KristinMorin, with the hope that she learned quite a bit about the world of publishing. As usual, Kristin was asked to perform some of the company's more menial tasks (research, organizing, etc.) while also pulling some writing and photography assignments.

How much fun can an intern have?

A Calvin senior is spending the summer working as an intern for the Toledo Mud Hens, an internship he landed through the college's new sports management concentration.

DeanExoo, 21, a sports management major who hails from Whitinsville, Mass., is working for the Triple-A club, the top farm team for the Detroit Tigers.

"I love sports, so it's great to be able to work with a professional sports team and see what that's like," said Exoo, who works in the operations department doing general maintenance for the team facility and overseeing ticket takers and ushers. "A lot of what we do is to make the games run smoothly."

Exoo said he can easily work 12-hour days when the team is in town. In fact, his first week on the job he put in 75 hours.

Thankfully, Kristin never had to put in that many hours.    

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