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Bubble Tea and Pickleball Enter the Local Picture

Williamston is all abuzz about the Hive Cafe opening downtown, and Eaton Rapids finds itself in a pickle.

The Hive Cafe is a renovation of The Hive school spirit shop at 122 W. Grand River Ave., said owner Will Long, who also owns downtown Williamston businesses the Studio Shop and the Makers Nook.

Long said he will eventually offer food at the cafe this year but currently offers craft soda and bubble tea.

“We’ll be a place where families can go and have fun,” Long said.

The cafe — named The Hive for the Williamston High School Hornets  — will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and open until 10 p.m. on weekends, giving Hornets fans a place to hang out after sporting events.

In Eaton Rapids, pickleball is on the mind of Joe Mitchell, president of We Are PickleballERs. Through crowdfunding platform Patronicity and assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Public Spaces Community Places program, the small group of pickleball enthusiasts have built four courts that will open in the spring after they are painted. Mitchell said a local contractor and excavator donated its services to the project. The courts are open to the public.

The courts are located at the Eaton Rapids Athletic Complex across from the high school.

“This is a good community project with a lot of buzz going on,” Mitchell said. “In my opinion this is going to be one of the most used facilities in Eaton Rapids once people play. Play it once and you’ll fall in love with it.”