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 · Sail on over to Manistee’s...
. . . .

Sail on over to Manistee’s Boathouse Grill

Ross Boissoneau - September 10th, 2013  

The Boathouse Grill may be only a few years old, but it harkens back to days gone by. Not just in that it occupies the one-time home of another longtime Manistee restaurant, but because it also nods to the Port City’s past.

It derives its name from Manistee’s boating heritage. In fact, it’s just across the Manistee River from the site of the Century Boat factory, which produced some of the country’s most celebrated – and fastest – watercraft during the mid to late 20th century.

“The Century Boat factory was right across the channel where you see that apartment building,” said general manager Chris Diebel, whose family owns the restaurant.


With that in mind, Diebel keeps an eye out for items that could add to the décor. Posters on the walls beckon boaters to the area’s waterways, and there’s even an old outboard motor on one of the half-walls dividing the dining room.

“People say I should put more things on the walls, but most of the walls are windows,” he said with a laugh. That includes a window wall with views of the river as it winds its way through town and out to Lake Michigan.

Diebel’s family owns both the Boathouse Grill and Rico’s, the popular Mexican/American eatery on Caberfae Highway (M-55) in Manistee. “Unfortunately, the owner (of 440 West) had passed away, and we bought it and opened it in 2007,” he said.

No doubt the decision to take the restaurant in the direction of fish was based on its location, with those stunning views. The restaurant’s patio is always crowded in the summer as the diners watch the boats plying the river.

“It’s the most popular place in the summer,” Diebel said. “It’s full all summer long.

The tourists love it. If it’s sprinkling, they don’t have a problem, they have an umbrella. Everybody else is (saying) ‘It’s raining out.’”

As for the boaters, many of them tie up at the docks just below the restaurant. “We get a lot of transient boaters. They have to keep some of the slips for them.”

Diebel says using fresh ingredients has been a staple of the Boathouse since it was opened. “We started out with local foods before that became a big deal,” said Diebel.

But he goes on to say that it’s nearly impossible to completely rely on fish from the nearby waters. “We have a good supplier out of Grand Rapids. It’s so spotty otherwise.

“We use lots of fresh fish, walleye, perch. We go through 150 to 200 pounds of perch a week, so we want to make sure we have it,” he said.


As that statement indicates and as one might assume from the restaurant’s name, the fish is among the most popular items on the menu. The perch, whitefish and walleye are probably the most requested, in that order. But when pressed for what is the best item on the menu, Diebel goes another direction.

“I’d say probably the hanger steak. It’s marinated in balsamic vinegar, honey, Worcestershire and soy sauce. It’s sweet and it’s salty,” he said.

Diebel is pleased that business this summer continued a trend of each year outstripping the previous one. “It’s grown a little every year,” he said.

He says they will spruce things up again this winter, primarily working on the facade in front to make it more noticeable and welcoming. “Unfortunately we’re down near the end of River Street, and if people don’t see things open down here they won’t come this far,” he said.

That’s not a problem in the summer, but with the off-season staring him in the face, Diebel says the restaurant will come up with other promotions to bring in the locals. That includes a continuation of last year’s “Three-Dollar Thursdays.”

“We have $3 drafts, $3 house wines and half price on appetizers and pizzas,” he said.


While he has seen the business climate in Manistee yo-yo from good to not-sogood, Diebel continues to be optimistic.

Not only has the Boathouse Grill bettered its previous year each year it’s been open, he believes the upcoming re-opening of the Vogue Theatre will help boost the city’s (and the Boathouse’s) fortunes.

“We’ll look to do some dinner and a movie thing,” Diebel said. He added that hopes are that the theater will be open for the Manistee’s Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend the first weekend in December.

He also has high hopes for the fall season. That includes the Port City Festival, this year taking place in mid-September rather than the first weekend after Labor Day.

“The fall color season is always great.

We get a lot of car clubs, bikers, older tourists that don’t want to compete with the families,” he said.

The Boathouse Grill is open 11 to 9 Sunday through Wednesday, and till 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is located at 440 River St. in downtown Manistee. Call (231) 723-2300. Online, visit its Facebook page.

Don’t Miss: Lake Erie perch. Perch fi l- lets are lightly breaded and served with home-made tartar sauce and a host of sides, including freshly baked bread, loaded mashed redskin potatoes, vegetable, and house salad.

Cost: Sandwiches from $7.49, entrees from $13.99.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5