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 - January 6th, 2014  

Former gym hangout, Centre Street Cafe
is still going strong

When the TC Gym closed its doors in 1999, Pete Boothroyd refused to go down with the ship. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to change his snack bar/eatery at the gym into a full-service restaurant.

Thus was born the Centre Street Cafe, located at 1125 Centre Street just east of Garfield in Traverse City. And 14 years l ater, it’s still going strong.


“When we ended up with an empty building (once the gym had closed), we decided to make it a full kitchen with everything – walk-ins, a grill,” said Boothroyd.

“As word got out, people started coming in.”

Boothroyd decided to back away from the gym years hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to keep a lifestyle where he could still be a family man. With hours now set at 10:30 to 4 (6 in the summer), Boothroyd and his staff focus on the lunchtime trade. The cozy cafe is busy throughout the year as shoppers, workers and a loyal customer base come in for the specialty sandwiches, salads, and weekly specials.

The cafe’s ambience is enhanced by a variety of jazz tunes and paintings and photographs by various local artists which adorn the walls.


Boothroyd and his staff offer a host of creative choices. Popular specials include Ralph’s curried tuna sammi, a creation of veteran chef/restaurateur Ralph Humes, with curried albacore tuna, smoked gouda, peppadew aioli, and radish sprouts on panini-grilled sunflower rye bread.

Another is the autumn veggie lasagna, which has survived the wintry weather, due to its tasty combination of butternut squash, eggplant, sweet potatoes, spinach, sage, and three kinds of cheese.

The regular menu includes three dozen sandwiches, ten salads, and a rotating selection of soups.

If that’s not enough choices, customers can opt to do it themselves. With a choice of seven kinds of meat, including smoked turkey and both turkey and beef pastrami, eight cheeses, a baker’s dozen dressings and several different breads, customer chefs can create their own blockbuster sandwiches.


One of the most popular sandwiches on the menu is the Rabish Radish Pastrami, named for one of the cafe’s loyal customers. The beef pastrami and capicola are further spiced up with the radish sprouts, red onion, pepper jack cheese, pepperoncini and horseradish sauce.

Boothroyd also extolls the virtues of the blue plate, featuring tilapia breaded in blue corn chips and served over seared polenta with avacado, pepper jack, salsa, and fresh lime.

But perhaps the cafe’s signature dish isn’t a dish at all, but two sides: the famous black bean dip, served with tortilla chips, and the swamp soup.

“If we’re out of the dip, people get angry,” said Boothroyd.

As for the soup, “It’s our own recipe for tomato, spinach and (grated) Swiss,” he said. “One of our customers said, ‘It looks like something that came out of the swamp.’ Another customer heard that and thought that was the name. They told someone else, and people started coming in and asking for the swamp soup.”


Boothroyd says he enjoys creating new dishes, but keeps his ego in check. If it’s not popular, he has no problem dropping it.

He also tries to insure that he keeps the prices in check. “Our top end is $13. You don’t want to price yourself out of the market.

“We’re in the business of service. We want to have (customers) have a good experience. It’s not just food, it’s service.”

Boothroyd also says changes in diet have impacted the restaurant business. For example, he tries to offer various gluten-free option. “That’s tough to do at lunch, where you’ve got so many sandwiches.” That’s where options like salads, grouper tacos on corn tacos, and the aforementioned blue plate come in.

Centre Street Cafe also offers catering, featuring items not on the lunch menu, and a Saturday breakfast menu with veggie crepes, poached eggs over grilled polenta, and pumpkin mango pancakes along with typical breakfast fare.


Sandwiches (accompanied by chips and bean dip and a pickle slice) start at $8. Salads start at $9, soup at $3.50/cup.

Boothroyd says he’s currently working on a new website, but online fans can still check out the weekly specials on Facebook.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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