Recently, my wife and I enjoyed a pleasant evening out and about in Downtown Saginaw with some friends. We visited Bourbon + Co. and the Bancroft Wine and Martini Bar. Upon entering Bourbon + Co. - we noticed that it was standing room only, a live band was playing, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. We both ordered a drink and our conversation soon turned to how exciting it is to see up-scale dining and entertainment in downtown Saginaw and there being no shortage of patrons. I immediately reached for my phone and began to text my parents. I was excited to tell them about the robust turn-out, the enthusiastic atmosphere and that the band was playing their music and that they would love it down here. They said the next time that we go, they would love to join us, (next weekend!)
Moreover, the Washington Avenue corridor at Riverfront Saginaw is noticeably beginning to take shape amid the cultural rebirth that is undeniably underway. Through the dynamic efforts of community leaders and economic development initiatives - the city of Saginaw is becoming a model for other rust belt cities to follow.
Unfortunately, many local residents are still cynical that any real-progress can actually be achieved. For many, they recollect Saginaw's hey-day with its bustling downtown, its many factories, and economic successes. Due to the inevitable rise of automation and online shopping, it is safe to assume that the downtown's retail hub is not going to be resurrected anytime soon. Rather, Riverfront Saginaw’s urban renaissance will focus more on fine cuisine, arts, entertainment and culture. Currently, we have Bradley’s Bistro; farm-to-table fine dining at its best, and for great food at a moderate price you can’t beat the Savoy Bar & Grill. For coffee, breakfast and lunch what better places to go than Dawn of a New Day coffee house, Wally's Old Fashion Sandwich Shop, or the Bancroft Coffee & Tea. The Dow Event Center, The Temple Theatre, and the Huntington Event Park... this is just the beginning, Saginaw! We need everyone to board this train, because it is going to be one heck of a ride! The new Saginaw is setting a precedent for improving the quality of life for those who reside in or around the Great Lakes Bay Region.
I am confident and optimistic that my children will grow up in a Saginaw that is in sharp contrast from the city I once knew in the late 1990's and early 2000's. It is never wise to bet against a city with an ethos like Saginaw. We are not afraid of ‘change’ nor the challenges before us to move our city forward. The spirit of the American worker still thrives in the veins of this once manufacturing mecca. Ingenuity, resolve and conviction are the foundations of this town; they always have been and always will be. #Saginawesome.