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 · Seriously Sweet Donuts Hit TC
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Seriously Sweet Donuts Hit TC

Ross Boissoneau - August 11th, 2014  

Serious about sugar? Tim Smith has your flavor.

Smith’s new venture, Serious Donut Company, features just about every donut flavor under the sun: caramel espresso, orange, and bacon maple settle alongside traditional crullers, long johns, and bismarks.

Close to retirement, the trained engineer says now is the perfect time to transition to a new business.

“If I waited any longer, I wouldn’t do it,” he said.


Serious Donut Company occupies a small space in a strip mall on Garfield just north of South Airport Rd., across from Copper Falls Steakhouse.

The interior is bright and welcoming, but the big attraction is the display case behind the front counter.

Those who need a jolt of java to go with their donuts can choose from five urns for self-service. Prices and flavors are posted on the display board to the right.

Then there’s the helpful, friendly staff, always ready with much-needed recommendations.

Smith said that while his location might be a bit off the beaten path, he isn’t worried.

“We’re set back from the road and a little hard to see,” he said. “But after they find us I’m confident they’ll come back.”


Name a donut, and you’re likely to find it at the Serious Donut Company.

Glazed? Check. Chocolate? Ditto. Orange? Bismark? Long john? All accounted for – with some intriguing variations.

Start with the names. All the donuts are given some sort of Traverse City or Northern Michigan connection.

Boardman Tubers are glazed donuts.

There’s also Cherry Capital Cinnamon Rolls, Old Town Sour Cream, Kingsley Kriss Kross, Rapid City French Crullers … the list goes on and on.

The flavors are limited only by the imagination. Staff and customers alike are welcome to suggest additional varieties.

Coffees include European roast, medium roast, Kona, Michigan cherry, and decaf.


Among the most popular of the Serious Donuts is the Northport Nauti, lovingly dubbed Death By Chocolate by the staff. This long john is filled with either Holland cream (the white stuff) or custard (the yellow stuff).

Smith says the custard variety typically sells far more than the Holland cream, though the latter is his preference.

Another favorite is the Open Space Orange Juice Donut. It’s made with orange juice in the batter, and topped with a tangy orange glaze or icing.

The newest entry takes the concept of coffee and a donut to a new level. The Glen Arbor Espresso adds espresso to the chocolate filling, giving it a kick rivaled only by the Glen Haven Caramel Espresso Macchiato.

Front of the house manager Katie Ritchey says it’s quickly become not only her favorite but a trendy pick of patrons.

“I decided coffee and donuts go together, so we needed a coffee donut,” said Ritchey. “I love them.”

The biggest flavor gamble is also a best seller: The shop’s Mackinaw Bacon Maple Long John is just exactly what it sounds like. The maple-flavored long john is indeed topped with a strip of bacon, melding smoky, sweet, and savory in each bite.


In addition to its delectable baked treats, the Serious Donut Company staff tries to go the extra mile in serving customers. That’s resulted in extended evening hours from 8pm-midnight Wednesday through Sunday.

Staff member Herb Larrance says that with the nearly round-the-clock staffing for waiting on customers, baking, and cleaning, they figured they might as well sell some donuts if someone’s there, regardless of the posted hours.

“I’m in at 4 or 4:30am, and people knock on the door. Third shifters are getting out of work,” he said.

Smith says the concept was to provide Traverse City with an independent donut shop where he and the staff could create donuts based on what customers wanted rather than what a corporation determined.

He works with bakery supplier Dawn Food Products, Inc. out of Jackson, which he says has been extraordinarily helpful.

“They’re a national company and make suggestions based on their experience,” he said.

But that experience only goes so far. “A lot of what we’ve done has proved the experts wrong,” he said. “Traverse City has some unique tastes.”

As an example he says the weekend crowd is different from the weekday crowd. “Weekends have more kids, and they love sprinkles,” he said.


Donuts start at 80 cents for the North Star and go up from there. Coffee starts at $1.19.

Serious Donut Company is open Mon., Wed., Thurs. from 6am-3pm; closed Tuesdays. Friday and Saturday the shop is open from 6am-4pm and Sundays from 8am- 2pm. Late hours from 8pm-midnight are Wednesdays through Sundays only.

The store is located at 1779A S. Garfield Ave. For more, call (231) 943-1372; online go to seriousdonutco.com or visit its Facebook page.

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