EDWARDSBURG — A building that once attracted thousands of shoppers and diners to the village each year is being partially repurposed to create a new type of visitor draw.
Since unexpectedly closing in June 2015, the former Lunker’s complex has sat abandoned and vacant near the northeast corner of U.S. 12 and M-62, never having fully recovered from the Great Recession and a victim of chains and online retailers.
After being placed in receivership, the contents of the building — its huge inventory of fishing, hunting and camping supplies, its unique displays and its restaurant equipment — were sold at auction in April 2016, meaning its life was over as a restaurant and unique store for outdoor enthusiasts.
But before the end of this year and hopefully before Christmas, the site will again begin attracting visitors when Dr. A’s Re-Leaf Center — the first medical and recreational marijuana dispensary in the village — opens in about 8,500 square feet on the east side of the complex.
But Dr. A’s won’t be the only dispensary coming to Edwardsburg.
Another business — called NoBo — is expected to open early next year in a building at 69411 M-62 that most recently housed a backyard grill equipment business.
Each dispensary is expected to initially employ about 15, but just as importantly, they’ll be taking over empty space in the village and attracting customers, who might decide to support gas stations, restaurants and other businesses in Edwardsburg, said Paula Ralph, village clerk.
Though initially deciding not to allow marijuana dispensaries in the village, officials reversed course in 2019 because there was some concern that the village could lose control over the number and