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Cooper‘s Pub & Grill

Kristi Kates - May 23rd, 2011
There’s a new restaurant in town - well, city, that is, and Boyne City, to be specific. That restaurant, Cooper’s Pub and Grill, has taken over the old 220 Lake Street locale courtesy of its founder, Patrick Schaller. It’s already made a big splash among locals, and is poised to be an even bigger draw for this year’s crop of tourists old and new.
Schaller, who was a restaurant investor in the past, says that actually owning and running his own restaurant is a new venture to him; his prior work was mostly in advertising and other unrelated projects.
“I invested in restaurants from a financial perspective, but I have never had the chance to be hands-on,” he explains. “But I’m used to working with customers, and I’m excited for the new challenge and opportunity.”
Schaller says he spent last winter reviewing various books on traditional pubs, and found that each pub had its own “character and energy,” which is what he wanted to create in Boyne City. He also wanted the restaurant to embody the feel of the region it would reside in.
“I wanted it to be a community-friendly pub environment,” he says.
The logo for Schaller’s restaurant features a likeness of his dog, Cooper, looking out over a lake, accompanied by morel mushrooms.
“To me, the logo visually describes Northern Michigan.”  

Three “components” of Northern Michigan dining are being executed through Schaller’s restaurant, namely the Brick Room, Cooper’s Loft, and the pub/grill itself. Schaller explains the differences.
“With the help of designer Cindifranco’s of Boyne City, we gave the various rooms a more modern, chic appearance,” he says. “Our main dining room and bar, located between the outside patio and the adjoining Brick Room, is where most of the action takes place, with modern light fixtures, a banquette, and televisions.”
“The connecting Brick Room has a banquette, a refinished floor, and modern lighting as well as televisions,” he continues, “and we also have the upstairs bar and banquet room named Cooper’s Loft with new carpet, a new speaker system, a refinished bar, and new lighting fixtures. All three spaces can cater to live entertainment, spirits, and food.”

For the food, Schaller worked with head chef Don Fuson and sous chef Rick Forreider.
“They are both a great deal of fun, and have been working diligently to craft an array of tasty food,” Schaller says.
A SOBO Sandwich - named after the up-and-coming arts district that has been constantly evolving in Boyne City - features stacked ham, coleslaw, and swiss cheese on a roll with lettuce, tomato, and housemade dressing.
Other specialties include the restaurant’s hickory-smoked ribs, broasted chicken, the Cooper’s Specialty Burger, and their signature mushroom sghtoup.
But Schaller points out that there’s still more on the way.
“Cooper’s menu is continually changing, and we’re excited to have some great specials this summer,” he says.
Entertainment is also on the bill, with Schaller planning to host live bands and performers throughout the summer; a grand opening last weekend got the ball rolling for this new and ambitious Boyne City hangout.

Cooper’s Pub and Grill is located at 220 S. Lake Street in downtown Boyne City, telephone 231-582-2271 or 800-290-4360. More info may be found online at the restaurant’s website,
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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