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 · See and Be Seen at THE FRANKLIN
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See and Be Seen at THE FRANKLIN

Ross Boissoneau - June 23rd, 2014  

Trattoria Stella owners Amanda and Paul Danielson and Myles Anton knew they wanted to open another restaurant, and they knew they wanted it to be in the middle of the action.

“We’ve always wanted to be downtown,” said Paul Danielson.

Located at – and above – the intersection of Front and Cass streets, the Franklin couldn’t be more centered in Traverse City.

“We wanted to do something else, and we didn’t want it to be anything like Stella’s,” said Paul Danielson, who opened the local favorite 10 years ago at the historic Village at Building 50 site.

Its name evokes the free-thinking ideals of both Benjamin Franklin and “frankelyn,” a Middle English word meaning free men who owned their own property, beholden to no one.

The Franklin, in contrast to its cellarlevel sister restaurant, is wide open, with a modern, almost industrial feel. Walls of windows wash both dining levels in natural light, and there’s plenty of brick, wood and cork to complement the steel.

Exactly like Stella, however, it’s warm and inviting.


The rooftop deck gives customers great views of downtown and the sparkling waters beyond. After dark, the deck is illuminated by a canopy of lights strung on cables hung from steel beams.

If it’s windy, cool or simply full on the deck, you can still enjoy the view from inside through the moveable window walls.

“We looked at garage doors but decided to do the walls,” said Paul Danielson, whose walls fold completely open, yet still offer the views when closed.

Downstairs, the centerpiece is the 20- seat common table, hewn from the trunk of a cottonwood tree. It’s set off by the 120-yearold back bar.

Throughout, the rich colors, high ceilings and lengthy sightlines foster a sense of both spaciousness and welcome.


Executive chef Gabe Rodriguez hails from Texas, and many of the items on the menu boast some of the heat of the Lone Star State: The lamb burger has a jalapeño-mint chimichurri, the corn esquites (warm corn salad) are served with aleppo pepper, and don’t forget the stuffed poblanos.

But there’s much more here than just Tex-Mex. There are clams with sausage, beer broth and crème fraiche; flatbreads with peppers or broccoli raab; and fingerling potatoes that are baked, slightly smashed, fried and then served with bacon and gravy.

Where Stella’s is Italian, the Franklin is multi-ethnic: German (spaetzle and flammkuchen, a flatbread with caramelized onions, quark and speck); Asian (G’s mushrooms with shochu vinaigrette); and distinctly American (the house hot dog served with yellow mustard and Detroit chili).

The menu includes starters, flatbreads, salads, sandwiches, entrées and vegetables. But don’t be fooled – the veggies are more than just sides, with ingredients like salted hazelnut brittle, cherry-pine nut relish and mint salsa verde enlivening them.

On the beverage side, if you’re a wine enthusiast, the menu breaks down the selections into categories such as “Orange is the new pink” and “Fizz.”

Beer lovers have 20 taps to choose from, many of them Michigan brews; others are from Oregon, California, Germany and Belgium.


Paul Danielson says picking the most popular items is tough, given that the restaurant has been open just a few short weeks. But waitress Sheila Czerniak doesn’t hesitate.

“Every time I serve the cheese curds, I start to salivate,” she said with a laugh. “They’re little pieces of heaven.”

The cheese melt is an upscale grilled cheese, with Muenster, roasted poblano, Mexican oregano, and tomato jam, on a flavorful foccacia.

The Bibb salad is both attractive and tasty, with slices of Granny Smith apples, fennel, a honey and lemon vinaigrette, sprinkled with Manchego cheese.


The Franklin is fairly large, with seating for 200-plus. The downstairs can accommodate 100, the upstairs 45, and the outdoor patio another 90.

It wasn’t easy to get to that point. Paul Danielson says they had to shore up the buildings next door and behind while laying the foundation.

Now that it’s up and open, he says the goal for the décor is for it to look so natural that “in five years it will look like it’s 50 years old.”


Appetizers start at $8; flatbreads at $10; and sandwiches at $9. Salads and vegetables start at $7; pasta at $12; and entrées begin at $18.

The Franklin is open daily from 11am- 11pm. It’s located at 160 East Front St. Call (231) 943-2727 or visit online at thefranklintc. com or its Facebook page.

Clockwise from top left:

The Franklin’s rooftop deck offers views of downtown and beyond.

The Bibb salad is perfect for summer with its meld of citrus, salt and slight crunch.

Melted cheese on soft grilled bread is accompanied by roasted peppers, tomato jam and oregano.

The flatbread is crunchy and light.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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