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.

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Everyone is a local at Art‘s Tavern

Nancy Krcek Allen - December 22nd, 2008
The ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu once commented on how inexhaustibly rich and different is sameness. He could have been describing Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor. If he’d ever had a conversation with owner Tim Barr, Chuang Tzu would likely have found a philosophical comrade.
“Our philosophy is no change -- but change,” says Barr. Barr’s efforts to keep Art’s the same -- while fostering slow, responsive and renewing change -- has kept summer hordes coming back year after year. “When we needed to put in new windows, we designed a plastic window that looked exactly like the old one. We replaced the old booths and made sure that the angle of the back, and the seat, were as near the same as the old ones. People waiting in line in summer will say to me, ‘Why don’t you put on an addition so you can seat us faster?’ I tell them that then we’d be like every other restaurant.”
Art’s familiar atmosphere has sometimes come with costs the public doesn’t see. “I spent almost half a million to straighten out our sewer system,” says Barr. “It was originally set up as a shared deal with the next door neighbor. I ended up buying the property and set up a state-of-the-art system to treat our waste water.”
The changes that do come are often at the urging of Tim’s wife, Bonnie Nescott. “My wife was the one who, before it was popular, urged me to bring in specialty beers and the different toppings for our burgers. We brought in salads because it was what she liked to eat. Our clientele has changed. When I bought Art’s in 2000, it was just burgers and fries. Now we sell more food than liquor.”

Art’s is surely one of Leelanau County’s coziest and comforting winter secrets. Walk in on a snowy Saturday, aching from an icy ski at the Homestead or a stinging walk along the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore—and you’ll catch the warm glow of pine walls and happy people. You’ll feel your bones soften from their weekday tension. Mingle this with the scent of delicious food, family and group friendliness, and you’ve gone beyond typical restaurant to timeless experience.
Art’s celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. “We’re only the third owners since Prohibition,” says Barr.
Frank Sheridan was the tavern’s original founder and owner back when it was known as The Blue Goose Saloon. When Sheridan died of an accidental electrocution in 1934, his son Art renamed the bar. An electrical fire burned the tavern down completely in 1950. By spring, 1951, it was rebuilt to the present building.
Art died in 1970 and his widow, Mary, ran the tavern until 1986, when she sold it to the Wiesen family, for whom Barr worked at the Friendly Tavern in Empire. Barr managed Art’s until a good land investment allowed him to purchase the tavern in July 2000.

Barr is a local son. “We moved here from Brethren when I was 12,” he says. “My dad was the superintendent of Glen Lake Schools. I graduated from Glen Lake and started working at the Friendly Tavern in Empire when I was 18. I’ve done a little of everything in the restaurants: repairs, cooking and tending bar.”
Unlike many restaurateurs, Barr is able to pay a living wage and has created a tip pool so everyone shares in success. “Many of the staff can purchase homes and raise families,” says Barr. “Lots of people have gone on to do bigger things—like Tom Reay at Funistrada, Ron Raymond at Serbin Real Estate and Dave Moffitt, the Peace Pole maker.”
“Tim’s a great community supporter,” says Pam Warnes, who has worked at Art’s for 24 years and can even remember working for the Sheridans when she was a teenager. “There is no one in this town who gives more or does more than Tim does.”
Barr, like his tavern, gives the impression of cozy and uncomplicated. He is. But sit with Tim in the bar, and though he is regaling you with a story, you will notice his eyes taking in what’s happening around him. Restaurateurs say that to own a successful restaurant you have to be there. Barr adds, “I’ve been so lucky to have really great people working for me. It’s them and the customers who really make this place.”
Google Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor and you’ll find folks from as far away as North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, China and Italy writing comments like, “Unforgettable,” “The tater tots kick ass,” “Friendly wait staff;” “Owner Tim is jovial and always willing to chat;” “Love the blond burger;” “Cool pool table that retracts into the floor;” “Rustic charm;” “Cozy;” “Can’t wait to come back; and “Great food.”

Breakfast is homemade starting with choice of three egg omelets like Greek (feta cheese, onions, tomatoes and black olives) or Irish (corned beef hash and Swiss cheese) or eggs served any style. Their special Hangover Helper (hangover optional) is a generous pile of potatoes, mushrooms, onion and sausage, topped with cheddar-jack cheese and two eggs cooked to order.
Corned beef, Canadian bacon, sausage, biscuits, home fries or hash brown casserole, Belgian waffles, French toast, pancakes (with Michigan maple syrup), oatmeal and bagel with cream cheese round out the extensive breakfast menu. Art’s serves breakfast Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Sunday and holidays from 7 a.m. to noon.
Lunch includes appetizers like whitefish dip, jalapeño poppers (spicy red peppers cream cheese stuffed with a tasty potato crust and fried), hot chicken wings, homemade salsa and chips, guacamole and deep-fried clams. The salads, like Caesar, Art’s house salad, the crancherry, fiesta salad and garden salad, come with a choice of a dozen homemade dressings. Add to that, homemade soup or chili, any of a dozen sandwiches like whitefish burger, blond burger (marinated grilled chicken breast with grilled mushrooms and Swiss), the Rachel (smoked turkey and kraut) or creative grilled cheese with steak fries, tater tots, onion rings or coleslaw, and you’ll have a hard time choosing.
We haven’t even gotten to the burgers yet—their number hovers around ten with an olive burger and bleu burger. Barr says that they buy great meat and grind their own hamburger. Wait, there is dessert: check the board for specials like apple pie a la mode with Moomer’s ice cream or maybe you’ll hit it lucky and catch a homemade blackberry cobbler.
Dinners are where Art’s loves to please. In addition to many of the lunch items, sides and desserts, they offer sides of baked potato or vegetable mix. Entrées include sautéed whitefish dusted with parmesan and corn flakes, fried smelt, black bean burrito, nachos and a range of pizzas and charbroiled items (available from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.); salmon or whitefish, New York strip, buffalo steak and charbroiled salads; Along with a children’s menu, these dinner offerings can please just about anyone. Include the full-bar large selection of regular, seasonal and local brews; liquor, wine, coffee and soft drinks and you won’t want anything but a refill. Barr even plans to add the creative on-tap beers from the Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City.
Art’s in the winter has a charm unmatched by summer. Check it out on Monday evenings when they offer their “two for one” burger night. Through the winter, Tuesday night at 7 p.m. is pool tournament night. Art’s is open 7 a.m. till 2 a.m. (grill open till midnight and fried foods available till 1 p.m.), seven days a week, 360 days a year. You’ve no excuse.

Art’s Tavern is located at 6487 Western Avenue, Glen Arbor, ph. 231-334-3754. Cash only.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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