Mark’s Place


Olivia Kinney, Writer

Come and grab a bite to eat at Mark’s Place right in the town of Eaton Rapids. The fun menu and comfortable atmosphere makes a great place for students. I would definitely recommend stopping by when in the area. I give this cafe a whopping 5 out of 5 stars due to their filling food and uncommon menu.

Customers will quickly pick up the cozy vibe when walking in. The aesthetic view  grabbed my attention right away. The wood floors, hanging lights, christmas decorations, and cool wallpaper added to the appeal. As for seating, the choices vary; two snug couches sat right next to a fake fireplace and the basic booths and chairs. Occasionally, Mark’s Place hosts a band and plays live music in the corner of the cafe; otherwise all genres of music are being played through the speakers. Senior Sam Kinney had a recent experience at Mark’s Place.

“I really liked my meal, although there was nothing special to it. My buffalo chicken bowl was a good mix of buffalo chicken, rice, cheese, and lettuce,” said Kinney. “I also had a boba drink and that was what was really good. It was really sour especially with the bobas that are so fun to pop with your teeth.”

Looking at the menu, the cafe makes bagels, scookies (soft baked scones that are made to taste more like cookies), grilled wraps, salads, soups, and gluten free rice bowls. The kids menu is decently priced and made just as good as everything else on the menu, attracting families and students. Depending on what one gets, some meals come with a side of fresh chips and salsa. 

The drinks are the more popular side of the menu because of their brewed coffees, Latte and expressos, milks, and the legendary Bubble drinks. Employee Erin Toodzio mentioned their famous pour over coffee that I was not aware of.

  “A pour over coffee is coffee that we grind the beans fresh when they’re ordered and pour hot water over it and the cup is super fresh and handmade every time. The pour over is the only black coffee we sell but it has become really popular amongst Eaton Rapids” said Toodzio.

The welcoming staff did a superb job making me feel homey and putting together an appetizing meal with only 2 workers. It took me by surprise when they handed me my food at my table even when they were a full house.

“There food is great. I usually order the mexi bowl and a boba drink,” said Sophomore Julia Harns. “I strongly recommend Mark’s Place because they have a lot of different variety of foods and drinks, and the service is always fast.”

This all came about when Mark and Krysta McGee opened a successful hot dog cart in downtown Eaton Rapids in 2008. They furthered their business by purchasing a second cart which eventually caught the eye of the Food Network in 2014. 

They competed in a reality show called Food Court Wars and ended up winning the whole competition. As for the reward, they were given a rent-free location inside the Lansing Mall. Gladly taking the space, Mark and Krysta stayed there for awhile but they decided to end their business at the mall and return back to Eaton Rapids finally bringing the one and only Mark’s Place into action. 

The McGees managed to do this by gathering up all the money they had and borrowing money from friends. Today, they continue to expand their menu and make adjustments to the cafe thanks to the great support of their community.

“I’ve worked here for over three years and Mark and Krysta are great people to work for and the job is pretty fun,” said  Toodzio. “We treat our customers like family. We have a lot of regulars that we have pretty strong relationships with.”