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 · Tasteful
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Ross Boissoneau - January 27th, 2014  


History runs deep at Siren Hall, a popular seafood restaurant in downtown Elk Rapids.

Siren Hall’s ultra-modern interior links past to present, with nods to its origins as an auto mechanic’s garage, antiques store, and even its first life – now long gone ¬– as an 1870s-era hotel one block away on East Bay.

Owner Michael Peterson and his wife and business partner Rebecca transformed the property in 2007. Now an airy restaurant and lounge, Siren Hall features poured concrete floors and bar top made from a single plank of Douglas fir reclaimed from the Puget Sound. Known for his exceptional seafood, Peterson is also skilled at more terrestrial fare, like beef short ribs and gyros.


The spacious interior with its block walls and high ceilings definitely harkens back to its past as a garage.

“I had to take a lift out of the garage,” Michael Peterson said.

The dark chairs, booths, and lounge area couches, huge steel beams reclaimed from the local iron works, and interior cement half-walls add to the industrial vibe. Iridescent metal fish hang on the walls as the sole splash of color.

During the summer, the former gas pump area in the front is used as a patio, creating a space that is miles away from the more common rustic northern Michigan décor.


Peterson, who also owns Antrim Catering and Lulu’s Bistro in Bellaire, says the idea of creating a restaurant based around fish and shellfish made sense to him because Elk Rapids is surrounded by water.

Many of his specialties, from clam chowder to fried perch to mussels, reflect this sensibility.

Peterson says he’s careful not to order more than he can use, so the weekly specials come and go.

“You can’t have striped bass on the menu all the time,” he says. “We get it in, sell it, then it’s gone until next time.”

There’s also plenty to choose from that doesn’t come from the sea or lake. Gyro sandwiches, pasta, steaks and ribs round out the menu for terrestrial diners.

Other favorites include crispy goat cheese cakes, coated with panko bread crumbs and served with arugula and a grilled tomato basil vinaigrette, shaved fennel and roasted pine nuts; house-made guacamole; and pizza with crimini mushrooms, goat cheese, and truffle vinaigrette.


“People love the fresh fish,” Michael Peterson said. “The fried calamari is plump and tender. The lump crab – people love it. And our pizzas are really popular.”

But two items from the ocean stand above the rest, he said.

“The oysters are what people come in for,” he said.

The oysters are served on the half shell by the dozen or half dozen. They’re also part of the fruits de mer tower, along with shrimp cocktail, mussels, and lump crab calamari salad.

Another customer favorite is the cioppino, a fish stew featuring a variety of seafood in a light tomato saffron broth.


Peterson started in the restaurant business when he was 14 at Bower’s Harbor Inn. He was enrolled at the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s culinary arts program while in school, and after graduating from high school he attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He worked in Philadelphia and Paris, among other places, before returning to northern Michigan.

Peterson opened Spencer Creek Landing in Alden in 1993, and Lulu’s Bistro in Bellaire in 2001. In 2007, he and his family moved to Elk Rapids when he discovered the building now housing Siren Hall was for sale.

Peterson says the size of the kitchen (approximately the same size as the front of the house) is perfect for running his catering business, alongside the Siren Hall food prep.

While as executive chef he’s responsible for the menu, Rebecca is the mastermind behind the interior. The staff consists of more than a dozen people in the off season, increasing to about 16 in the summer. With a seating capacity of 120 in the restaurant plus another 50 on the patio as well as the lounge, Siren Hall is a busy place when the warm weather hits.


Salads start at $6; appetizers, $8; sandwiches, $9; lunch entrees, $12; and dinner entrees at $15 Pizzas run from $11 to $13, while desserts start at $4 for house-made ice cream.

There’s also a complete bar, with nearly 60 wines and beer as well as mixed drinks, and cordials for after-dinner. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2 pm and 5-9pm.

For more information, call (231) 264-6062, go to SirenHall. com, or log onto its Facebook page. The restaurant is located at 151 River Street in downtown Elk Rapids, just east of the theater.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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