Click to Print
. . . .

City Park Grill

C.J. Ray - March 15th, 2010
Past Meets Present at the City Park Grill
By C.J. Ray
The City Park Grill has been a Petoskey tradition that goes deeper
than the memories of anyone living today.
The City Park Grill was constructed in 1875 at the tail end of the
construction boom in downtown Petoskey. Originally called McCarthy
Hall, it opened as a billiard hall which also served alcohol. In 1888,
a 32-foot solid mahogany bar (which still stands today) was installed,
and the name was changed to the Annex.
In 1917, however, Prohibition created problems, as the Annex wanted to
continue to sell liquor to their patrons. Local legend has it that the
solution was to construct underground tunnels that could be used to
secretly import
and export alcohol. The tunnels were connected to other businesses in
town, and believe it or
not, those tunnels still exist today, although sealed off.

Today, CPG offers a blend of upscale and affordable options.
“The City Park Grill, with its contemporary menu is designed to fit
everyone’s palate and budget,” Patrick Faylor, co-owner and operator.
“For example, you can order a sandwich or burger for dinner, or a
steak with lobster demi-glaze, and everything in between. It offers a
place to people, of all ages, to be able to afford to go out to
At the helm is chef John Norman, presiding over a broad range of menu
options. As I look over the menu, there is much to offer, starting
with 10 different appetizers. A few that sound tantalizing are the
artichoke dip $5.95, coconut curry grilled shrimp or corned beef hash
cakes at $6.95, or get the Tabletizer which includes shrimp, spring
roll, tortilla chips with tomato salsa, and hummus, grilled
balsamic-herb chicken skewers, and sesame encrusted calamari, with
Thai coleslaw, and spicy plum sauce.

“We offer eight different chef-created, dinner specials every day, and
are always changing,” Faylor says. “All of our menu items are in-house
created and all from scratch. With your meal you can enjoy a glass of
wine or a bottle.We have over 150 different kinds from all around the
world. For entertainment, we have a solo acoustic singer-songwriter on
alternating Tuesdays, and a band every Saturday.”
House-made soups, gumbo, and chowders, several different kinds of
sandwiches and burgers from $6.95 to $8.95. For dinner entrées, you
will find many different pastas. I tried the Big Easy Linguine with
chicken, Cajun sausage, bell peppers, in a Cajun cream sauce. It was
off the chart. Try one of their hand-cut steaks, any size you want,
marinated, and aged so it’s super tender. They also offer several
pork, or chicken dishes, coconut curry grilled pork tenderloin, or
grilled marsala mushroom chicken.
If you have a taste for seafood or fish, your appetite will be teased
by the grilled prosciutto wrapped salmon $17.95, fried shrimp in
tempura batter with voodoo cocktail sauce, the pecan encrusted white
fish, with apple cider cream sauce, or try the local favorite, the
parmesan herb encrusted white fish, with roasted garlic cream sauce
The restaurant also serves fantastic homemade biscuits -- a hallmark
specialty that’s very popular. You’ll also find a happy hour daily
from 4:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., and all day on Sunday. You can enjoy
drink specials, and half off appetizers, and on Tuesdays their $2
drafts and $2 gourmet sliders.

“The chef creates at least three or four house made deserts every day,
like killer fudge cake, layers of fudge in the center, Ghirardelli
milk chocolate shavings, and Ghirardelli milk chocolate whip cream
frosting, really rich, and delicious. You can share it,” Faylor notes.
“We also feature crème brūlée, we have several different flavors from
a classic presentation, to an espresso crème brūlée. Apple blossom, a
hand made pastry, loaded with apples, with flavored ice cream, covered
with a bourbon caramel sauce, or a cherry and blueberry crisp served a
la mode. All our desserts change up all the time so there is a fresh
offering to go along with our lunch and dinner specials.”

The City Park Grill is located at 432 East Lake Street, Petoskey. See You can see this review and others at

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5