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The Red Dock Cafe memorabilia sale attracts a large crowd eager for an item from the 24-year-old music joint

The Red Dock Cafe memorabilia sale attracts a large crowd eager for an item from the 24-year-old music joint

More than 100 people came out Sunday to see a small piece of the Red Dock Cafe, which closed in September after 24 years.

The popular waterfront retreat in the village Douglas, owned by Tony and Dona Amato, is well-known for its live music and a very welcoming atmosphere.

The 200-plus items the couple offered the public a chance to purchase from Saugatucks Capizzo Studio on Oct. 10 ran the gamut, from the original bar to old signage, said Tony Amato, noting that not much remains.

It's a great feeling that people are continuing to attend our events, especially in this dangerous climate in our country, said Amato about the turnout. It makes me feel very fortunate because I am an old hippie who is into inclusion - everything and anything.

One of the most sought-after items, the cafes original bar that featured a caricature of him, will now be incorporated into the Borrowed Time restaurant in downtown Douglas.

He said another cool item that people just went nuts over when he placed it at the entrance of the Red Dock Cafe, 219 N Union St., was an interesting looking doghouse. He claims his wife picked it up on a trip and painted the words Bad Dog in black on the front of the red and white doghouse and stuck he tin kink Corgi inside.

Kathy Johnson, a longtime client and Saugatuck resident, has ownership of the piece, Amato said.

Amato is a skier who grew up in Colorado prior to coming to Michigan. He said a lawn chair made of skis was sold to san diego, as well as skiers with elaborate designs and signatures and signs indicating the difficulty of varying degrees of slope.

A banner from the bars opening day that was displayed and taken down at the start and end of each season on the water was also sold.

With our stuff all over this area, we will never lose our vibe, said Amato, who stated they are still calculating the proceeds. All 24 years, I sat at the desk, and I remember feeling awed by the people and the variety of things that were always happening, she added.

The memorabilia sale included a silent auction at Capizzo Studio with live music from Flatland Grip. Other items that sold were a chair made of skis, bar stools, and other furniture, dozens of signs, as well as tens of thousands of Bud Light signs and Amatos Birkenstock collection.

Although each item has a distinct significance and worth apart from money for the Amatos and those who frequented the caf, one item was deemed uninhabitable. It was a wooden sign dedicated to R.J Peterson, the late dock owner who died last year.

Amato said he knew shortly after Petersons passing that this would be the last year for the Red Dock Cafe. The contract ran out on Oct. 1.

Although the cafe is closed, keep an eye out for Rod Dock Productions, as Amato says he isnt done engaging with the community yet and is planning music, poetry, and other events.

Amato said he will be performing a $20 show with musician Joe Marcinek and guests on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Hollands Park Theater in Holland.

Monica Scott contributed to this article.

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