Previously known as Hartshorn Centre, Fricano Place was built in 1885 as the Hartshorn Curtain Roll Factory. It was the only manufacturer of window roller shades in the world and operated as a factory until the early 1980s. After production ended, the building went through a series of short transitions as the Lumbertown Mall and Waterfront Center. In 2001, the building was purchased by John Bultema II and George Bailey for commercial space and was renamed Hartshorn Centre. A year later, Fricano’s Muskegon Lake became a tenant and opened for restaurant for business. In 2009, Ted Fricano and his wife, Jennifer purchased the entire building with a vision of securing a future for their children and revitalizing downtown Muskegon with good, honest businesses.
Over the years, the building was renovated to utilize the space for events, families and community activities. It began with what is now The Hideaway Lounge. This run-down storage room was converted into a beautiful, intimate setting designed to feel like a speakeasy of the 1920s. The architecture of the room was restored to the original style and the results are exciting.
Next Ted worked with a small and determined construction crew and set out to create a 10,000 square foot ballroom known as The Event Center. Showcasing many of the original wood beams of the 120 year old building, the attention to detail is simply stunning. A 35 foot bar, restored to its original grandeur of the late 1920s also accents the room.
Ted and Jennifer never imagined renovating these grand spaces when they first purchased the building. In Ted’s words “We just went to work everyday, and it all just happened. It came from my heart.” Hard work, a big heart and discipline pays off. Today, Fricano Place is revitalizing downtown Muskegon, bringing business and families back to the lakeshore.
The Fricano Story
If you’ve ever met Ted Fricano, you know he speaks and acts from his heart. His good intentions of bringing jobs to the area and building something for families and friends to enjoy has paid off. His success has been a sign of hope and prosperity for Muskegon and has allowed people to say “Yes, you can succeed in downtown Muskegon!” But Ted credits the real success of Fricano Place to the people he works with and the patrons he meets everyday. Many of the staff have been here since day one and Ted knows Fricano’s has a special place in many hearts.
Ted and his team have enjoyed hosting special events and meaningful engagements for many people over the last decade – even funeral lunches. Ted believes there is nothing more gratifying than when a family requests a luncheon or dinner after a loved one has passed away. They always say “We want to have this celebration of life at Fricano’s, because your restaurant meant so much to our loved one.”
A part of personal history, a part of the community’s history, Fricano Place is your Place. So stop by and share your stories with us, and let Fricano Place be part of your family celebrations too.