A change of direction for downtown Dexter’s barbecue joint has freed up space for a new full-service jewelry store. Turchin Jewelers expects to open in May, with grand opening events in early June, says gemologist Marissa Turchin. She and her husband Steve, a master goldsmith, have a combined forty years of industry experience, and opening their own store represents the fulfillment of a shared dream.

Gemologist Marissa Turchin and her master goldsmith husband Steve at their new Main St. store.

Their showroom and custom design and repair workshop will occupy what had been the Mercantile retail and seating area for Hotel Hickman’s Chuckwagon BBQ, whose core business continues after founder Scott Thomas sold it to Milly McClure late last year.

Marissa, a Midland native, came to the area to attend U-M and later studied at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. She eventually moved back to Ann Arbor and took a job at Austin & Warburton, a custom jewelry business whose owners, Brenda and Craig Warburton, retired last year.

That’s where she met Steve, who grew up in Brighton and developed his craft from the bottom up through apprenticeship. The couple now lives in Hartland with their two sons, ages six and nine.

As downtown Dexter’s only jeweler, the Turchins will offer not only Steve’s original and custom-made pieces and those from like-minded designers, but also more traditional and classic jewelry—engagement rings, diamond pendants, and the like.

“There’s always a range of tastes, a range of budgets,” she realizes. “So we’ll try our best to hopefully have a little bit for everyone.” That includes many potential impulse buys for less than a hundred dollars, as well as services ranging from laser-welded eyeglass repair to jewelry appraisals.

Turchin Jewelers, 8054 Main St. (734) 253–2015. Tues., Wed., & Fri. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thurs. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Closed Mon. turchinjewelers.com

Hotel Hickman Chuckwagon BBQ, 8050 Main St. (734) 253–2015. Thurs.–Sun. 6 a.m.–7 p.m. Closed Mon.–Wed. hotelhickman.com