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 · Lil‘ Bo Smoke Free
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Lil‘ Bo Smoke Free

Carol South - May 19th, 2008
At Lil’ Bo, all lunches all the time now have one thing in common: no smoking.
Starting April 30, owner Nancy Freund decided to make the change at the downtown Traverse City landmark, based on customer feedback.
The restaurant/tavern had already designated smoke-free Thursdays starting January 3, which have been very popular and helped lure evening crowds to enjoy dancing and music.
Looking to boost the lunch trade at the renovated establishment with an expanded menu, banning tobacco seemed a logical next step.
“A couple of people said they’d heard from bankers, real estate agents and others that our food is awesome but they don’t want to come here with a client and go back to the office smelling like an ash tray,” Freund said. “I think I’m blazing a trail because most bar owners are afraid of losing their business.”

Smoke-free sentiment is building and Northern Michigan is a hotbed of enthusiasm for the idea, said Lisa Danto, coordinator of the Traverse Bay Area Tobacco Coalition. Traverse City has the highest number of restaurants and bars that are smoke-free in the state. Grand Traverse County is in the top 10 for the state.
On another front, Danto is also pleased that last week the Michigan Senate passed a bill that would protect Michigan workers in bars, casinos and restaurants from second-hand smoke by banning smoking. The bill now goes to the State House, and if approved, would require the immediate cessation of smoking across the state.
Progress around the state so far has rested on individual proprietors and customers.
“Usually, the majority of the ones that switch are doing it because of customer requests,” Danto noted. “There are enough customers out there demanding it to happen -- people are traveling from other places and they are saying, ‘This is what I’m used to and this is what I want and I’m not going to tolerate [smoking.]’”

Freund, who lived in the relatively smoke-free haven of California for many years, returned to Traverse City three years ago. She pitched in with her brother, Eddie, to help save the business that had been in the family since 1969. Her father, Geno, was failing and his children wanted to
continue his legacy.
In May of 2005, they closed Lil’ Bo for six months of extensive renovations. Freund began hoping for a no-smoking policy at the re-launch
“We’d done all the work, it was clean and fresh, but I was outvoted,” she recalled, noting that her brother, who is no longer involved, didn’t like the idea.
The idea flowered again last December at a media happy hour hosted by IPR-FM. Freelance photographer Gary Howe asked Freund if she had ever thought of going smoke-free for a day.
She decided this was a reasonable way to test the concept and chose Thursdays. The evening draws an older crowd and swing dancers, as well as some young people.
“It’s been great, people love it,” said Freund, who estimates a 90 percent positive reaction to smoke-free Thursdays. “Every week, somebody says, ‘Thank you for being smoke-free.’ They like being able to come in here and smell burgers and coffee instead of cigarettes.”
Lil’ Bo’s is located at 540 W. Front Street in Traverse City and is open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 946-6935 or see

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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