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 · Soulful, Soothing, Serentity
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Soulful, Soothing, Serentity

Al Parker - December 8th, 2008
In a downtown that is percolating with coffee shops, a Traverse City family business offers visitors a soothing, healthy beverage that has been an integral part of the Zen Buddhist culture for centuries.
Serenity Tea Bar & Café, located in a century-old building across from the historic State Theater, offers 70-some organic, fair-trade specialty tea drinks, plus an impressive menu of organic vegetarian food.
“We really try to focus on having things as local as possible and as natural as possible,” says Jack Fivecoate, who owns and operates the tea bar with his brother Kerry Hanley and their mother Jill Pluckebaum.
Leave the hustle and bustle of Front Street and enter Serenity Tea Bar & Café and the impact is immediate and, well, serene. Visitors are greeted by a gurgling fresh water aquarium and a warm vibe.
For four months the mother and sons worked to renovate the 113-year-old building, stripping away decades of tacky décor and grime. They had to put in the tea bar and upgrade the electrical and plumbing in the ancient building.
“We were remodeling from Dec. 1 to March,” says Kerry. “It was tough.”

The result is a clean, relaxing décor with walls that are banded in sage and burnt-orange. Local framed artwork attracts the eye, while the century-old wooden floor has been beautifully restored. The building’s original tin ceiling has been painted a tasteful chocolate.
As for the tea, the most popular brew on the menu is the matcha green tea, the oldest variety of shade-grown Japanese green tea. Instrumental in the Zen Buddhist culture for more than 800 years, matcha green tea is typically ground into a fine powder.
Unlike many teas where the most nutritious leaves are tossed with a teabag, matcha is mixed with water and consumed entirely. Thus, a matcha drinker consumes 10 to 15 times the nutrients found in regular green teas.
“Matcha green tea has 137 times the anti-oxidants of anything on earth,” explains Jack, who learned much of his tea training at the Light of Day Tea Room. “It’s pretty much the healthiest thing on the planet.”
One of the tea bar’s most popular drinks is the Matcha Mango Latte, where the matcha is blended with rice milk and mango juice.
Visitors are invited to enjoy a small pot of tea for $3.50 or share a large pot for $5. Dozens of popular and unusual teas are available, all organic and fair trade certified and blended locally by Light of Day Organics.
Jack does much of the cooking, offering focaccia sandwiches, salads, soups, pita pizzas and grilled paninis.
“We offer a complete vegetarian menu,” says Jack. “We also cater to vegans with our breadings, pesto and hummus, all-vegan.”

Some unique menu items include the Pesto Panini with tomato, basil, red onion, toasted pine nuts, mozzarella and matcha green tea pesto served on a multi-grain bread ($6.95), and the Buddha Belly, with tomato, onions, cucumber, sprouts, sunflower seeds and matcha green tea hummus served on focaccia ($6.50).
Pizza lovers will want to try Jack’s Pizza, featuring matcha green tea pesto sauce, toasted pine nuts, red onion, basil, tomato, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella (6.50) or the Voluptuous Vegan with matcha green tea hummus, onions, garlic, red and green peppers, sweet corn and artichokes ($6.00).
Their sumptuous salads include the Red Headed Hippie, with mixed greens, breaded and baked tofu, red onion, tomato, celery and organic blue cheese with Buffalo sauce and white tea-infused ranch dressing (7.50) and the Dr. Zeus, featuring mixed greens, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, red onions, artichokes, organic feta and croutons ($7.50).
Soon they plan to add some small plate dinners and an expanded dessert menu.
The emphasis will always be on organic, local products and many infused with tea in the oils, dressings and sauces. Their list of local suppliers includes Oryana, Happy Sprouts, Food For Thought, Naturally Nutty, Leelanau Cultured Veggies, Bay Bread, and Home Grown Organic Eatery.
Serenity Tea Bar & Café also hosts live entertainment on a sporadic basis. Anyone with a guitar is invited to play.
“It’s not your Grandma’s tea room,” says Jack with a smile. “But everyone is welcome here.”

Located at 232 E. Front Street in Traverse City, Serenity Tea Bar & Café is open Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For takeout orders call (231) 421-1564.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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