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Coho Cafe

Danielle Horvath - August 10th, 2006
“I feel more like the chairman of the board than the new owner,” Steve Tebo says with a smile. “The customers and community are so vested in this business that they wanted to have a say in who the new owner was going to be. At first we were worried, but I think we passed the test!”
The Coho Café has been a downtown Frankfort mainstay for locals for several years, and a summer destination for tourists looking for quality Northern Michigan fare. Steve and his wife Kristin Glass purchased the Coho Café last year and have kept much of the same food and atmosphere that customers have grown to expect.
“We will make decisions based on what the people in the Frankfort area want, we hope to stay open longer each season if we can survive,” he says. “We know this is a favorite place for many and we will make changes a little at a time.”

From shellfish to halibut, the Coho Café is known for it’s variety of fresh fish for lunch and dinner and Tebo intends to keep it that way.
“We plan to keep it a true seafood restaurant, as the name says, we kept the old favorites and have added some new touches. We are introducing some new things that have been well received like our fish tacos for lunch and weekly fresh fish dinner specials. We’ve also added some of our own decorating touches but the ambience is the same.”
Tebo left the corporate world in Chicago to realize a dream he and Kristin had to relocate to Northern Michigan. They have had a “life long passion” for food, but no experience running a restaurant.
“I had the motivation, enthusiasm and commitment for a business of our own, but not as a cook,” he says. So he quit his job and went to culinary school and worked in a restaurant while still in Chicago to get some practical kitchen experience. “It uncovered in me a passion for cooking, and now I love to jump in the kitchen when I can. But I am no match for the real cooks; I am in awe of our chefs every day.”

Tebo brought chef Patrick Williams from Chicago to oversee the kitchen and create signature dishes that are getting rave reviews so far. From the pan-seared whitefish, marinated in lemon and herbs, to the almond-crusted salmon to the peppered NY strip steak to soups made from scratch to homemade crab cakes, all dishes are made with the freshest local ingredients available.
Kitchen manager Kari White has been with the restaurant almost since it began; it was her sister Kim Hensley that sold it to Tebo and Glass. “Kari is our rock; she knows the place inside out and is on the verge of becoming a great chef herself. We couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with,” Tebo says.
The Coho has a staff of 36 in the summer and many have been with the restaurant for several years. “Even though we’ve only been around a short time, it feels like we’ve known each other forever,” Tebo notes.

The Coho Café is open seven days a week in the summer, 11-2 for lunch and 5-9 for dinner. They feature a variety of local and imported wines and bottled and draft beer, plus daily drink specials. Lunches
run $4-$9 and dinners $7-$17, call
231-352-3474 for more information.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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