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 · Alden Bar
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Alden Bar

Al Parker - November 8th, 2010
In Alden: a facelift revitalizes the ‘AB’
By Al Parker
In many communities, the largest employer is a factory, hospital or
maybe a school.
That’s not the case in Alden, according to Walt Owens, who owns and
operates the newly-remodeled Alden Bar & Grille in the friendly little
village that hugs the east shore of Torch Lake.
“With 32 employees, I think we’re the largest employer in town,” says
Owens, with a laugh. “We have three shifts, including our own cleaning
crew. And we’re only closed for four-and-a-half hours a day.”
When Owens and his wife Dee bought the landmark bar – known to locals
as the AB - in 2001 it had a reputation as a comfortable neighborhood
tavern where summer visitors and locals mingled over drinks. They
continued that legacy until 2008 when they developed a plan to turn it
into more of a family-oriented eatery that happens to serve alcohol.
Between February and June of this year, the Alden Bar & Grille
underwent a major expansion that more than doubled the size of the
place, from 1,300 square feet to 3,300 square feet. The Owens used
local financing and local contractors to revamp their business. “Our
kitchen is 20 times larger than it was before,” says Owens. “It went
from 40 to 800 square feet. Our deck outside had five tables, now it
has 15.”

The AB’s original bar top was retained, but most of the interior is
sparkling new, giving the place a lighter, brighter atmosphere. It now
seats 99 customers comfortably inside, and many of them are folks
lured to the eatery by its family-friendly atmosphere. Inside are
crane games, a high-tech juke box, shuffleboard and pool tables. Owens
is working to get wi-fi up and running soon.
“The prior owners had it as a bar for 46 years,” recalls Owens. “Prior
to that it had been a store and a restaurant combined. When we bought
it, we used to do 70 percent alcohol and 30 percent food. Now it’s
unusual if we don’t do 60 percent in food. And we’re shooting to do
even more food.”
In addition to enlarging the building, Owens expanded the menu,
highlighted by all-new breakfast offerings beginning each day at 7
a.m. Under the direction of manager Pete Stephenson, there are a
number of selections that are popular among early risers.
“The Sandbar Salmon (three eggs served with fire-grilled salmon,
spinach and a house white sauce for $7.99) and Pete’s Homemade
Biscuits and Gravy ($5.99) are really popular,” says Owens. “A lot of
our breakfast customers are folks who remember Pete when he owned the
Country Kitchen.”
Other satisfying breakfast items include a pair of three-egg AB
Skillets – The Mex, with spicy beef, tomato, onion, green peppers and
topped with salsa, cheddar cheese and sour cream, plus toast and the
Original Alden Red Neck featuring cheddar cheese hash browns and
smothered with sausage gravy, plus toast. Both skillets are $6.99.

The AB dining options went from a two-page menu of pub grub to a
five-page publication that features an array of taste-tempting
options, ranging from salads, sandwiches, burgers and the
crowd-pleasing Friday fish and chips with a side of coleslaw ($10.99).
“We make a British-style batter for our fish fry, using Short’s Autumn
Ale,” says Owens. “It’s been very popular.”
The AB is a haven for hamburger fans. The most popular is the AB
Burger, featuring two hefty 1/3 pound patties of Angus beef, American
cheese, grilled onions, lettuce and 1000 island dressing ($7.99).
Can’t decide between a hotdog and a burger? Try the Freakin’ Frank
Burger, with two 1/3-pound patties, grilled mushrooms and onions, jack
cheese and topped with a hot dog and lettuce and tomato ($8.99)
The biggest appetites of all might want to tangle with Walt’s Monster
Burger, a stack of three 1/3 pound patties with four pieces of bacon
and four slices of cheese topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and
pickles on a homemade bun ($12.99).
Pizza lovers may want to try one of the AB’s 8 or 14-inch pies.
There’s an assortment of specialty pizzas and even an AB deep dish
“Our pizzas have done real well,” says Owens. “Before we offered
pizzas, a business appraiser estimated that we’d do about 800 pies a
year. This year we’ve sold 3,500 already. We have a lot of people who
order pizza from their boats out on Torch Lake, then dock and pick up
their pies.”
During the summer, the AB has entertainment seven nights a week,
including euchre tourneys, karaoke and live bands.
The big remodeling effort was well worth the effort, according to Owens.
“We’re drawing people from Traverse City, Bellaire, Kalkaska,
Mancelona,” he says. “We’ve gone from being a corner bar to being a

The Alden Bar & Grille, at 9149 Helena Road in Alden, is open seven
days a week.
For more information or takeout orders, call (231) 331-6214.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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