Foodie Fave Friday: Outback Steakhouse Offers Gluten-Free Options, Online Wait List

The Chocolate Thunder from Down Under is one of many items on the restaurant's gluten-free menu.

The Chocolate Thunder from Down Under is one of many items on the restaurant’s gluten-free menu.

Outback Steakhouse may be best known for its steaks and seafood, but the Australian-themed restaurant chain has been keeping busy to find new ways to meet the demands of its clientele.

Most recently, that includes the introduction of Click Thru Seating, which allows customers to skip the line by adding their names and desired arrival time to a digital wait list. Running late? No worries. Unlike a traditional reservation, guests will not be dropped from the wait list if they arrive after their names are called.

The national chain has also made an attempt to simplify the ordering process for those with certain dietary restrictions. While Outback officials note they cannot guarantee that cross-contact with foods containing gluten will not occur, the company has prepared a separate gluten-free menu featuring everything from dressings to desserts.

The Flint restaurant, at 4270 Miller Road, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday;  11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 810-720-0979 or click here.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.


Save the Date(s) for Saturday Morning Meditation


Every Saturday through June, Clio-based Applied Awareness will offer free community meditations on the lawn of the Flint Cultural Center, between the Whiting and the Sloan Museum.

Students are encouraged to dress comfortably. Be sure to check the weather to determine whether or not you should bring along a jacket, sunscreen or hat.  Remember to bring water and a snack to avoid distraction from thirst and hunger.

As sessions involve various postures – ranging from sitting to walking to lying down – students are welcome to bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

Each hour-long session will begin at 11 a.m. and will be led by instructor Todd Robinson.

For more information, or to register for a session, visit

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Auto City Speedway to Kick Off 60th Year on Saturday


Clio’s Auto City Speedway has big plans for its 60th year, and it all starts this Saturday – weather permitting – with the Redneck Season Opener.

“It’s a full schedule,” said Sharon Fischer, a spokesperson for the 5,000-seat venue. “All five divisions will be in action this weekend.”

This includes Pro Late Models, Mods, Street Outlaws (Street Stocks, Sportsman, Factory Stocks), Pure Stocks and Figure-8s.

This year, the season will carry the theme of a “Redneck Racing Summer.” In June, the racetrack is teaming up with Cumulus Radio to host a Redneck wedding. There will also be a number of games, featuring a redneck twist, during intermissions throughout the summer.

“If you have never been to a racetrack before, it’s definitely something you should try,” said Fischer, who describes the setup as NASCAR-style racing on an oval track. “You have to be there to experience the whole thing. To smell the gasoline and hear the noise – it’s very exciting.”

With a few exceptions, the paved track will host racing every Saturday night through September, with a special anniversary race on August 1.

After each and every event at the speedway, the pit area is open to guests who would like to meet the drivers, take photos and secure autographs.

Grandstand admission is $15 per adult and $5 per child age 6-12. Pit passes are $25 per adult and $15 per child age 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.

Pit gates will open at noon and the main grandstand gate open at 4:30 p.m. Racing starts at 7 p.m. and usually runs until about 10 p.m.-11 p.m.

For more information, call 810-686-9500 or visit

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Area Libraries Host Free Financial Classes During ‘Money Smart Week’

1390009_45620103In recognition of Money Smart Week, which runs through Saturday, hundreds of organizations in Michigan are hosting classes and seminars that aim to help consumers better manage their personal finances.

The events are free to attend and free from sales pitches. In Genesee County, some include:


Crash Course in Couponing at Flint Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley (6:30-8 p.m.)

Carla Hurd, owner of the Michigan Coupon Club, will show participants how to buy groceries without breaking the bank.


Know Your Score at the Flint Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley (6-7 p.m.)

Representatives from Talmer Bank will discuss understanding your credit score and the factors that impact it. This is the first in a series on Wednesday evenings at 6pm running from April 22 to May 13, 2015.

The Road to Financial Awesome-ness at Grand Blanc-McFarlen Library, 515 Perry Road (6-7 p.m.)

This workshop – geared towards college-age students – will highlight seven key steps to becoming financially independent. This includes an overview of student loans, finding a job, renting an apartment, money management, saving for financial drama, establishing credit, buying a home, saving for retirement, understanding taxes and buying a car.


Money Secrets of the Amish at Grand Blanc-McFarlen Library, 515 Perry Road (6:30-8 p.m.)

Michigan author Lorilee Craker will share her book Money Secrets of the Amish. Book sale and signing to follow. The kids’ program “Let’s Play Store!” is scheduled simultaneously in the community room for children ages 4-10.

Click here to learn more about Money Smart Week. For more events provided through the Genesee District Library, click here.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

‘Around the World in 80 Wines’ Set for Saturday

Photo  by Roger Kirby.

Photo by Roger Kirby.

Take a trip around the world with a first-class selection of wines at the 16th Annual “Around the World in 80 Wines” fundraiser. The wine-tasting event, scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, will also offer an assortment of cheeses, breads and charcuterie, as well as samplings from area restaurants and bakeries

As always, the museum galleries will be open for viewing (food and drink are not permitted). The Mott Community College Jazz Combo will provide live entertainment.

Each guest will receive a complimentary tasting glass and can purchase any of the wines tasted well below suggested retail price.

As part of this year’s Wine Pull contest, guests can pay $20 to receive a mystery bottle of wine. The selection will range in price with some high-end options.

Tickets are $60 for members of the FIA and/or Junior League of Flint, and $75 for non-members. For more information about the event, to be held at the Flint Institute of Arts, at 1120 E. Kearsley St., click here or call 810-234-1695.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

See what’s Happening In and Around Flint & Genesee for the Week of April 20-26

Information and dates are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to confirm.


April 22: YouthQuest Brownell – Holmes S.T.E.M. presents “Floetic Poetry Slam Family Night” at Holmes STEM Academy, 6602 Oxley Drive, Flint * (810) 922-2350

  • (Event runs 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) The community is invited to attend this family event featuring performances by the Sphinx Overture Students, Tapology Students (K-6) and the Spoken Word by Drop the Mic Club. Special guests include Danielle Horton, member of Raise it Up Youth Arts and Awareness Poetry Team and the Brave New Voices 2015 Poetry Slam Participant, and Flint Native, Antwain Kirkland, with musical connections with Mama Sol and the Nuts, Mott Jazz Band, Earnest Pugh, Detroit Pistons, Ready for the World and more. Free admission.


April 24: Flint School of Performing Arts Faculty Concert Series presents “FSPA Voice Faculty” at the Flint Institute of Music MacArthur Recital Hall,  1025 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 238-1350 *

  • (Performance begins 7 p.m.) Celebrate an evening of love through the musical genius of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Handel, Verdi and Gilbert & Sullivan with the theme “Artistry of the Aria.” A reception, generously provided by Allegro, will follow the concert. Free admission.


April 25: “Super Saturday Storytime” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 *

  • (Event runs 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.) Join a library staff member for themed stories, literacy and hands-on activities in the Children’s Room featuring “Money Smarts for Kids” this weekend. Recommended for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school ages.


April 25: “STEM Saturdays: Marvelous Math Adventures” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 *

  • (Event runs 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) Join a library staff member for some interactive fun while learning math skills featuring “Money Math” this weekend. Children can test their money smarts in a game show.  Recommended for grades 2-6.


April 25: “Redneck Season Opener” at Auto City Speedway, 10205 N. Saginaw Road, Clio * (810) 687-7384 or (810) 686-9500 *

  • (Gates open 4:30 p.m. and races begin 7 p.m.) Experience a fast-paced, fun-filled family night at the tracks featuring Suski’s of Birch Run ProLate Models, O’Guinn’s Family Funeral Home Mods, Tiger Auto Salvage Street Outlaws, The Herald Pure Stocks and Bob Kern’s Auto Repair Figure-8’s.


April 25: 16th Annual “Around the World in 80 Wines” Wine Tasting at the Flint Institute of Arts, 1120 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 234-1695 *

  • (Event runs 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) Take a trip around the world with a first-class selection of wines accompanied by a delicious gourmet spread from area restaurants and bakeries. Enjoy live entertainment from the Mott Community College Jazz Combo. Guests will receive a complimentary tasting glass.


April 26: Flint School of Performing Arts “Showcase Concert” at The Whiting, 1241 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 237-7333 *

  • (Performance begins 3 p.m.) This unique performance features 350 Flint School of Performing Arts student musicians and dancers including the Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra, Flint Youth Wind Ensemble, Flint Youth String Orchestra, Flint Youth Ballet, the New Horizons Band and more featuring an exciting finale of music from Resphigi’s “Pines of the Appian Way.”

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Friends of the Capitol Theatre Signs Agreement to Acquire Historic Venue


Flint’s historic Capitol Theatre could reopen within the next 18 to 24 months thanks to a new purchase agreement between Capitol Theatre Building LLC and the Friends of the Capitol Theatre, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC).

The Friends have up to one year to perform due diligence and put together the financial structure for the project, which involves the 2,000-seat theatre and adjoining office and retail space. Ownership and operation of the Capitol will officially transfer to Friends once due diligence has been completed satisfactorily and closing occurs.

“This is a major step forward and could be the tipping point for taking downtown Flint’s resurgence to the next level,” said Tim Herman, URC President and CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “We envision restoring this community gem back to its historic glory and creating a modern entertainment venue for concerts, stage plays, comedy shows and other performance arts.”

The Farah Family, which has owned the Capitol for 38 years, has worked to preserve and protect this wonderful and strategic community asset until the structure could be fully restored and redeveloped.

“My father, George Farah, acquired the building in 1977 when he fell in love with the architecture,” said Troy Farah of Capitol Theatre Building. “My father also realized the importance of this property to the Flint community. I’ve been told by experts that the Capitol Theatre is the best-preserved, unrestored theatre in the country.”

Designed by a noted theatre architect of the era and opened in 1928, the Capitol is an atmospheric theatre, creating “the impression of outdoor settings featuring ancient and exotic places inside the building,” according to A Guide to Flint Architecture, published by the Flint chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Outside, the exterior features buff-colored brick set off by terra cotta piers, colonnades and roofline cresting, common to 15th century Hispano-Italian Style, the Guide states.

Herman said the historic theatre’s restoration creates significant opportunities for synergies with Flint’s outstanding Cultural Center.

“Downtown Flint continues to show steady growth,” Herman said. “The revitalization has been on the upswing for a decade now with buildings being renovated, lofts and other residential living made available, and great restaurants and nightlife. Now, we’re primed to add the Capitol to this wonderful mix.”

Farah also believes that the agreement between Friends and Capitol Theatre Building will create great momentum for the theatre’s redevelopment.

“The Farah family has been committed to Flint’s downtown revitalization for the past 40 years, and is an active partner and participant in many other downtown projects,” he said. “We’re eager to assist with the Friends of the Capitol in any way needed to help facilitate the redevelopment of this community gem.”

Officials say due diligence for the project will begin immediately.