Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…

Everyday, open-7 p.m., $1.75 highballs, $2.50 house chardonnay, $2.00 drafts, $1.00 off everything else.
310 Cass St., Traverse City

Sunday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m., $1 off all drinks.
422 North 5th St., Roscommon

Lulu's Bistro
Thursdays, 5-9 p.m., $3 wells, $2 off drafts, select $5 wines.
213 N. Bridge St., Bellaire

Boyne River Inn
Everyday, 3-6 p.m., 1/4 off drinks.
229 Water St., Boyne City
Rendezvous Lounge, Odawa Casino
Thursday & Friday, $2.25 domestic drafts, $3.25 well drinks, $3.25 house wine.
1760 Lears Rd., Petoskey

Choice Bits!

Round-the-region snapshots of the dining scene. 

RUTHIE'S CHICKEN & DAIRY TWIST: Roasted chicken and ice cream, malts and shakes.
201 N. Bridge Ln., Bellaire. 213­-533­-8538.

Practically an Up North institution, the place to find out the latest fishing or snowmobile news from the locals and visitors who gather for their hearty breakfasts, steaks, burgers, soup & salad bar, & homemade desserts.
10921 Main St., Honor. 231­ 352­6585.

When you've worked up an appetite from all the bowling and karaoke that Boyne City Lanes has to offer, you'll find a selection of hearty fare to choose from, including homemade soups & desserts. Cocktails are served at the Lanes,with live entertainment and glow ­bowling nights.
1199 West Boyne Road, 231-­582­-6353.

Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. Full Chinese menu, as well as Hunan & Szechuan entrees.  Daily specials, special combination plates,  a lunch & dinner All You Can Eat Buffet. 
616 S. Mitchell St., Cadillac, 231­-876­-8888.

Take a trip back to the '50s where chili dogs & frosted mugs of root beer are still served up by carhops at this All ­American institution. Elvis has been known to make an appearance during their annual summer “A&W Cruise Night” in August, as do cars from the 50’s and 60’s that we remember well.
At the bottom of the hill, 21 Lake St., Frankfort,  231-­352-­9021.

From Antler Ale to Wolverine Wheat, Big Buck specializes in microbrewed beers. Offering the usual beef and buffalo burgers, steaks, and ribs, plus more unusual fare, like their portabella sandwich with red onion marmalade and provolone cheese.
550 S. Wisconsin Avenue, Gaylord, 989­-732-­5781.

A refined atmosphere, subdued lighting, and an appetizing selection of epicurean treats awaits the diner at this Harbor Springs corner landmark. Menu selections range from their smoked whitefish ravioli appetizer to their Atlantic salmon, baked polenta and eggplant, tomato basil fettuccine, or filet mignon ­ and their brunches include one of the best versions of Eggs Benedict around.
101 State Street, downtown across from Bar Harbor, 231­-526-­1904.

Pool tables, a full bar, friendly service and a varied menu make the Village Inn popular with families and locals.  Dinners include Lamb Skewers, Blue Corn Enchiladas, Charbroiled Whitefish, Lasagna and Ribeye.  Also burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and pizza.  Lunch and Dinner.
Just north of the blinking light 116601 Lacorre Ave. on M­22,  Empire. 231-326­-5101.

One of Petoskey's first restaurants, Jesperson's is famous for homemade pies and fresh turkey. Breakfast and lunch.
312 Howard, Petoskey, 231­-347­-3601.
Located in Building 50, grilled panini's, soups, wraps, baked goods, specialty coffees and teas.
1200 W. 11th St., Traverse City, 231-­947­-7740.

Home · Articles · News · Dining · Opa!
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Al Parker - July 5th, 2007
Paul and Brigette Barbas are guided by a simple business philosophy.
“We want to bring good food at reasonable prices to our customers,” explained Paul, an outgoing 36-year-old whose new eatery, OPA! Coney and Grill, opened in early June at Traverse City’s Cherryland Center.
OPA! marks the first time the Barbases have owned a restaurant, but Paul, who was born in Greece and came to the U.S. as a toddler, logged plenty of time working at his parents’ restaurant – The Astoria Coney Island – near Detroit.
After growing up in Livonia, Paul graduated from Eastern Michigan University and went to work as a marketing rep, but grew tired of the constant travel demands. Four years ago, he and Brigette, a University of Michigan grad, moved to Traverse City.
About a year ago, they began planning their restaurant and followed up by locating a just-right location in the Younker’s courtyard area of Cherryland Center, near the second busiest intersection north of Grand Rapids, according to Barbas.
“We looked around a lot before finding this,” explained Paul. He built the comfortable booths and did most of the woodwork inside the restaurant, which seats 67 diners inside. Another 32 can dine al fresco in the
courtyard area.

Highlighting the interior of the 100 percent-smoke-free coney island is a series of Greek-inspired paintings done by Suttons Bay High School students Taylor Mentzer, Molly Branson, Shane Nelson, Summer Giddens, Lorie Forton and Justin Cox. Instructor Scott Tompkins oversaw the project. TBA-ISD Career Tech student Sarah Fisher created the OPA! logo.
“We want people eating here to feel excited about their meal, their experience,” said Paul. “We talk to the customers – How’s the food? What did you like? What did you not like? We want their feedback.”
Paul and Brigette work seven days a week at the restaurant, arriving well before the doors open and staying until closing. They lead a staff of four cooks, six servers and four dishwashers. Paul’s mother, Vula, has been invaluable in helping launch OPA!
“She’s the mortar between the bricks, keeping everything together,” said Paul with a laugh. “She and my father, Angelo, have been very important in getting OPA! started.”
Breakfast lovers will find a breakfast menu of eggs, omelets, pancakes, pastries, oatmeal, and over-sized Texas (not French) Toast.
When lunch time rolls around, OPA! is the answer for Traverse City coney lovers who have often longed for a big-city-style coney island to satisfy their cravings for the chili-smothered dog concoctions.
Sure, almost any eatery can grill a hotdog, slather some chili on top and call it a coney dog. But, like its downstate counterparts, OPA! offers much more, such as the Loose (ground beef and no hot dog), the Licky Fingers (a coney topped with ground hamburger and finished off with chili, mustard and diced onions) and a Greek Taco (ground hamburger served on a hot dog bun with chili, mustard, onion, lettuce, tomato and cheese).

Reflecting Paul’s ethnic background, OPA!’s menu offers some delicious Greek dishes, including the traditional saganaki (imported Kasseri cheese) or loukaniko (char-grilled Greek sausage) both of which are flamed with a flourish right at the table.
Gyro lovers will want to try OPA!’s version of the tasty beef-lamb treat. They also offer an open-faced chicken version. All are topped with crumbled feta, fresh tomatoes and diced white onions and highlighted by homemade tzatziki sauce, a creamy blend of yogurt, cucumber and garlic.
After 4 p.m. OPA! features several hearty platters, including souvlaki (select cuts of marinated pork) or chicken kabobs. Both are skewered and char-grilled with green peppers, chopped onions and fresh tomatoes served on a bed of rice.
There’s also keftehes (ground sirloin that is seasoned and molded into bite-sized meatballs that are grilled and served on a bed of tasty rice), which are hard to find north of Flint.
As a tribute to Brigette’s Polish heritage, the menu also features Polish pork chops served with garlic mashed potatoes, and pierogi and bigos, six handmade cheese potato pierogis served with baked sauerkraut mixed with pork and mushrooms.
There are six different meal-size salads, homemade soups made daily and an assortment of desserts, including
rizogalo (Greek rice pudding), baklava, and cherry filo, stuffed with cherries and baked to a golden crisp. All desserts are made in-house.
Beverages include Pepsi soft drinks, milk, tea and coffee, including a special Greek coffee. All of OPA!’s meals are available for carry out.
“All we want to do is to feed people–make ’em happy, make ’em smile,” said Paul. “Our goal is to offer good food at a great price.”

OPA! Coney and Grill, at 1752 South Garfield Ave., is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Call at (231) 947-OPA1(6721).
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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