Imlay City restaurant draws in patrons from out-of-state with lo - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Imlay City restaurant draws in patrons from out-of-state with local products

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(06/24/14) - Imlay City may best be known for their blueberries. However, this Mid-Michigan city, with less than 4,000 residents, may soon be known for something else.

A new upscale restaurant quietly opened up in town, at the end of last year, and it's creating quite a buzz.

It's not exotic cuisine from around the world that's drawing the crowds - it's the close ties to the local community that's bringing people back time and time again.
Open since late November, The Mulefoot Gastropub is quickly gaining a following in this small community by combining high end cooking with fresh products in a relaxed atmosphere.

"Everything is focused around local food and local business. We get a lot of local support, plus people that are driving in from other places," said executive chef, Mike Romine. Romine also gets a lot of support from his twin brother Matt, who is also deeply involved in this new venture.
Customers from as far away as Ohio and Canada are frequenting this new eatery. Why? According to Columbiaville customer Kate Segula, it comes down to, "Ethical, consumer choice to eat locally and choose food that I know has been created by hands near me."

"The key to what we do here, is that every single thing is made from scratch," Romine said.

The Mulefoot specializes in using only fresh, local and Michigan grown meats and produce. Breads are made with Michigan flour.

First time customers, like former resident Charles Avery, seemed impressed.

"It's good so far. We're just getting started, but it's good," he said.

"It's wonderful. It's definitely a unique, I mean, you can't go anywhere else and try this kind of stuff. We were eager to just to try something new and healthy," said Davison resident Tom Mullin.

The "local" effect doesn't stop at just the food. It's the total package, according to Romine.

"The art, the people, the music, the hand soap in the restrooms, the tables that we're sitting at, the centerpieces. Every single thing is local and everything has a story," he said.

Revenues have tripled since February, and that's with literally no advertising, just word of mouth and social media. The 75 seat restaurant also has banquet facilities in the back part of the building.

For more information, click HERE.
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