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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Ross Boissoneau - August 26th, 2013  

Cash in on Northport’s Soggy Dollar

Just to be clear, you don’t have to use damp currency to pay for your meal at the Soggy Dollar. But the Northport restaurant’s colorful name comes from a time when that was the norm.

It’s derived from when sailors would swim in from their ship and have to pay for their pleasures with the money in their wet pockets, according to general manager Ryan Beyer. While that’s typically no longer the case, it fits in with the Leelanau County town’s maritime heritage.

The Soggy Dollar also fits in the revitalization of Northport, which includes the anticipated new brewpub and a multiplex with a bowling alley, sports bar, kids’ arcade and restaurant, among other offerings. Beyer says he sees the Soggy Dollar and the other businesses, new and old, not as competitors, but as partners helping to revitalize the beleaguered Leelanau County town.

“We’re trying hard to make Northport a destination,” said Beyer, “to be a fullfledged weekend and vacation destination.”

Beyer’s restaurant is certainly doing its part. With an eclectic menu, comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, even occasional live music, the Soggy Dollar is banking on a profitable future.

Not that the present is so bad. “It’s been fantastic,” said Beyer of the restaurant’s business since opening Memorial weekend. “We’ve been welcomed by the community. We’re still producing huge dinner (numbers).”


The Soggy Dollar got its start when Tonya Cook found Stubb’s restaurant for sale. She purchased the longtime Northport eatery and immediately got to work renovating it. The Soggy Dollar’s Facebook page shows numerous photos of the renovation, from painting to installing the bar, tables and chairs.

Beyer was contacted by Cook to see if he’d be interested in running the restaurant. After 20 years in corporate sales in the Los Angeles area, he decided the slower pace of life in Northern Michigan was just the thing for a Traverse City native. He bought a house in Northport.

“I had a paint brush in my hand the first day,” he said with a laugh.

While the renovation process is over, Beyer says they continue to tweak the menu, under the purview of Chef Kylen Kilcherman. He says it’s a little more upscale, appealing to coastal visitors. Selections such as beet risotto and tofu kebobs sit easily alongside the type of fare one might readily expect, such as Lake Superior whitefish and a bistro filet.

Ask Beyer what’s the most popular item on the menu, and you hear crickets. Change the focus and ask him what the best thing on the menu is, and – you get much the same answer.

Finally, after trying to decide among his and the community’s many favorites, Beyer offers not one but several answers. “There’s the rotisserie chicken, Lake Superior whitefish, blackened walleye. Local perch. I’m hearing we have the best burgers in Leelanau County,” he said.


For those customers who, like him, have difficulty making up their minds, he says the Soggy Dollar offers a changing series of specials. “We run features two or three times a week, like rack of lamb.”

For dessert, try the crème brulee cheesecake, or better yet, the lemon meringue tart.

Like so many other restaurants, Beyer says the Soggy Dollar is committed to offering as many local foodstuffs and ingredients as possible. “We try to use local foods as much as we can. We’re trying to think a little outside the box, but the goal is for coastal visitors to enjoy it,” he said.

Of course, Beyer knows it’s not just about the visitors, that creating a local market is the key to surviving the winters. To that end, he said the restaurant is planning some special events. It’s already hosted live music, and he promises more, from jazz to blues to folk and country.

It all comes back to building up a strong local economy, which he says is the key to survival for not only the Soggy Dollar but all the businesses in town.

The Soggy Dollar is located at 115 S. Waukazoo in Northport. Call (231) 386-7611. Online, visit its Facebook page.

DON’T MISS: Parmesan crusted whitefish with tarragon aioli, served with drunken sweet potato coulis, with grand marnier, cinnamon and cherry butter

PRICES: Sandwiches from $10/ Salads from $6. Platters from $14, entrees from $16

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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