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 · Dinghy's New Lifeline: Families,...
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Dinghy's New Lifeline: Families, Ribs

Ross Boissoneau - March 21st, 2014  

It used to be last call in Frankfort was usually at Dinghy’s.

The former rowdy nightspot had a much different atmosphere than it does now, said owner Steve Christian, who has owned the restaurant since 2000.

“There used to be a pool table, jukebox – there’d be fights over the music,” he said. “It used to be the last-call bar. It was a completely different atmosphere.

“Now it’s very family oriented.”


The nautical décor at Dinghy’s is prominent, from the record-setting brown trout caught in Betsie Bay displayed behind the bar, to paddles, a ship’s bell and other seafaring items. Car ferry signs hang from the ceiling, while old maritime maps and photos adorn the walls.

Even before you walk through the door you’ll notice the stained glass windows above the entrance.

“The three stained glass windows were excluded from the sale,” says Christian. “I said, ‘You can’t do that. I’ll buy them if you make additional ones for each side.’” Now Poseidon holds forth on one end and a mermaid adorns the other.

There used to be more finned creatures residing in the restaurant, but they weren’t quite appropriate to the setting, Christian said.

“When I bought it,” he said, “it had tuna, barracuda – all these saltwater fish.”

Opting for more of a freshwater feel, Christian removed them all except for a lone shark, a favorite of wide-eyed children.


Of course, there’s plenty of fish on the menu, from Atlantic cod sliders served on mini French rolls to coconut shrimp and deep-fried shrimp. A favorite is the pan fried fish dinner, either walleye or whitefish.

The deep-fried onion blossom is one of the restaurant’s calling cards. Another is the bombas: Dinghy’s jalapeño poppers, stuffed with Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses, tucked into a wonton wrapper, deep-fried and sprinkled with spicy Cajun seasonings.

The pulled pork BBQ sandwich tops the sandwich menu, alongside a cherry chicken almond wrap, French dip and make-your-own burger.

Those with a larger appetite may go for the Betsie Bay Burrito or match meat and seafood by adding shrimp to steak.


Despite its name, the restaurant is probably best known for its smoked meats. As an example, Christian points to the turkey drumsticks.

“We couldn’t give away turkey legs until we started smoking them,” he said.

Now the smoked brisket, pulled pork, BBQ chicken and especially the ribs are what diners order, Christian said.

“I think the ribs are best, and by far the most popular,” he said. “They’re flavorful and tender. Touch the meat with your knife and it just falls off the bone.”

Kelly Sandman, the front of the house manager, said the pulled pork nachos and twice-baked potato soup are her top choices. The soup started as an occasional special, but grew so popular they added it to the menu permanently.

“People love it, and are upset when we don’t have it,” she said.


Like many established restaurants in resort towns, the summertime business produces lines out the door, where Christian said people will wait two hours for a table.

In the off-season Dinghy’s still holds its own, Christian said.

“We rely on strong support from locals,” he said. “It’s a favorite local place.”


Sandwiches start at $6.49; burgers at $5.49. Entrées start at $10.99; salads and appetizers at $4.49.

Dinghy’s is open 11am to 9pm Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8pm Sunday. Dinghy’s is located at 415 Main Street in Frankfort. Call (231) 352-4702, visit dinghysrestaurant.com, or visit its Facebook page.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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