Chris Mohrhardt bought Pangea’s Pizza in downtown Traverse City to complement the operations at his popular Incredible Mo’s family entertainment center and restaurant south of town.
Now Mohrhardt is tapping a $100,000 business expansion loan from Venture North to help fund a major expansion project at Pangea’s that’s scheduled to open next summer. The funds are the first loan made through the recently received $1 million in funding to Venture North from Rotary Charities and Northern Trust, and will help complete the financing for Pangea’s renovations and expansion.
“It’s an additional – and very useful – funding source to help us complete the project,” said Mohrhardt, who worked with Traverse City State Bank to finance much of the work. “This is a really a key piece to get us where we want to be.”
The expansion will more than double the seating capacity at Pangea’s from just under 100 to seating for more than 200 guests. It will also help boost employment from around 45 workers to nearly 70 employees at summertime levels. It will include a ground floor expansion of around 1,600 to add new restaurant space, upgrade restrooms and the kitchen area, and add room for another tenant in the space. The second story will feature up to 2,700 square feet of outdoor deck space over East Front Street at the front of the building, and West Grand Traverse Bay and the Boardman River to the rear.
The construction plans are currently under review by the city, and Mohrhardt expected construction to begin in early 2018. The restaurant will remain open during most of the construction work, he said.
Morhradt said he was impressed with how Venture North representatives worked with Traverse City State Bank to come up with a seamless financing plan that kept the plans moving ahead.
“For me, it was a really easy process,” he said. “Everyone was super professional.”