By Scott Sullivan
The former Douglas Kalico Kitchen was again repurposed early Sunday when a drunken motorist turned it into a drive-in.
Police said a Redmond, Ore., man, 28, was northbound on Blue Star Highway in a 2019 Nissan Frontier when he collided with a sign and tree in front of Northern Lights condominiums, then a power pole before crashing into the 312 S. Ferry St. former restaurant just after 1 a.m.
Saugatuck Township Fire District first responders found the driver, whose name has not been released pending arraignment, had extricated himself from the vehicle and building.
He was treated on scene for minor injuries, then arrested for operating while intoxicated and lodged at the Allegan County Jail.
“There were reports of gas leaking from the vehicle and building,” said department IT director Erik Kirchert. “We secured the scene with fire-line tape and traffic cones. The building power and gas connection were shut off.
“Since the vehicle was still running,” Kirchert continued, “a crew gained access to the building and cut the windshield in order to place the transmission in park and turn off the ignition.”
The Graafschap Fire Department, which joined Douglas and Michigan State Police responding, supplied stabilizing struts to support the building overhang before the Nissan Frontier could be towed. Consumers Energy and Michigan Gas secured downed wires and the gas meter.
The vehicle was removed by John’s Auto after responders deemed the building stable.
It wasn’t the first misadventure for the structure, which operated for 36 years as the Kalico Kitchen, including an ill-fated stint starring in a 2013 “Kitchen Impossible” episode on TV’s Food Network, followed by Allegan County Health Department closing it.
Douglas residents Frederick Eagle Royce III and Sarah Hurley bought the building and adjacent home, after they were foreclosed on, in 2016 for $267,000 and tried for one summer to convert them into a vegan ice cream and wood-fired pizza restaurant called Stonewall Corner.
Working with operator and head chef Deth Chanthapanya, Royce and Hurley repurposed it the next year as Thai House and Sushi Boat, but that didn’t last long either.
The two buildings, which sit on a triangular 1.5 acre parcel zoned commercial near the Blue Star entrance to Douglas, are now listed with Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt Saugatuck for $499,000.
By Scott Sullivan