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Lumberjack‘s Bar & Grill

Danielle Horvath - March 16th, 2009
So what do you do in this economic downturn in the automotive industry if you are a former auto salesman? If you are Paul Schell and Rich Lewis, you buy a shuttered bar/restaurant in Benzie County and bring it back to life. Thus, the former Sleepy Bear Lounge on US 31 in Honor has been reinvented as Lumberjack’s Bar & Grill.
The bar/restaurant has been an Honor institution for decades. The original building was the town hotel for years and was rebuilt after having endured three fires in 20 years, the last in 1984.
Schell and Lewis, along with their wives, Mindy and Tina, met 10 years ago. Between their friendship, business experience and desire to get involved in the community, they have remodeled, refurbished and opened for business on February 27. They picked Lumberjack’s as a reflection of the lumbering history of the area.
Although neither had a burning desire to open a bar/restaurant, they both decided this was a good opportunity, and if the community response is any indication, they made a wise choice.
“It’s been unreal,” Schell said. “We have people stop in every day telling us how glad
they are that we are reopening the place.
They’ve missed the meeting spot, the homemade pizza, the entertainment, and we are bringing all of that back and adding more.”
Lumberjack’s is not only bringing back the popular homemade pizza recipe that came with the restaurant, they are offering the village delivery service for pizza and their carry out menu. “We want to be part of what the community needs, and we wanted to offer a delivery service. There will also be weekly specials, pool tournaments, karaoke and ladies night specials, and we will be bringing back live rock and country bands on the weekends,” Schell said.

The new owners have appreciated the support from the local business and banking communities. “We are buying locally whenever we can and will do so as long as supplies are available. The Honor Family Market, Honor Hardware and the Honor State Bank have all been great to work with.”
With three new flat screen TVs, remodeled and updated bathrooms, and a completely redone kitchen, they plan to keep many of the old menu items while adding some specialties of their own.
Open for lunch and dinner, Lumberjack’s Bar & Grill features a signature nacho cheese soup along with homemade chili; steak and shrimp specials on Friday; and all you can eat spaghetti nights on Wednesday. Monday will feature Mexican specials, with pizza specials all day Sunday. Dinners are in the $10 range and lunches average $5. The partners will offer all the regular beers on tap, including Bud Light, Molson, Miller Lite, Busch, Killians and Samuel Adams. They have a general selection of wine and have increased their mixed drink and carry out menus.
Schell and Lewis plan to be hands-on owners, whether tending bar, making pizza, shooting pool or greeting customers. Their wives will help manage the bar and restaurant.
The business has created eight new jobs in the tiny village, with former Sleepy Bear Lounge cook Josh McCrae once again manning the kitchen. “We didn’t even need to advertise. People just came in and we hired as we decided what we needed,” Schell said.

Lumberjack’s Bar & Grill is open seven days, Sun – Thursday 11 – 1 a.m. and weekends 11 – 2 a.m. For info on up-coming bands or specials, call 231-325-2262.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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