Boyne - Charlevoix
Opened in July of 2004, the in Boyne City was founded by Val and Larry Glasgow, native Michiganders with an extensive history in food service, including a popular downstate bakery.
The Glasgows originally intended to move Up North and, as Larry Glasgow puts it, “shift into low gear” - but their realtor persuaded them to fill what he called a restaurant void.
“When we relocated to Boyne City, we kept hearing that what Boyne really needed was a certain type of restaurant,” Val Glasgow says.
That restaurant - “decidedly Italian-inspired, from my family heritage,” Val Glasgow explains - was at first intended to be a small, low-key sandwich and coffee shop.
“But we quickly grew a loyal customer base who wanted more,” Larry Glasgow says. “Before we knew it, we were serving breakfasts, dinner specials, pastries, pizzas, and catering.
We’re giving Boyne City a place that’s classy without an attitude, yet comfortable without feeling like a diner.”
Val Glasgow calls Water Street Cafe’s ambiance “casual upscale dining with Old World charm,” and says that they’ve become especially well-known for their unique soups and desserts.
“We love out-of-the-box ideas,” she enthuses.
Those ideas include trying to fulfill food requests from customers who reminisce about old family favorite recipes, or other foods that evoke happy memories.
“One of our most popular items is our Maurice Salad, a re-creation of the popular salad from the restaurant at Hudson’s department store years and years ago,” Val Glasgow says. “We also have several signature dishes: our Eggs Benedict, our Cappuchocolatte and our Parmesan-Encrusted Walleye are perpetual best-sellers.”
Sometimes, she laughs, it’s difficult to get people to try new things, because the first thing they try becomes their favorite, and they don’t want to branch out after that. She and Larry even have menu items they look forward to a little more than others.
“It’s difficult to choose a favorite, because we eat there every day, and it really depends on what we’re in the mood for that day,” Larry Glasgow says. “Since we do daily specials, often those are our current ‘favorites,’ since we’re making what we’re in the mood for!
“But I love our slider burgers,” he continues, “we feature different types each week.”
Mrs. Glasgow, on the other hand, is a self-proclaimed “soup-a-holic” - “I get excited about creating new ones,” she says.
Daughter Kristin is reportedly a fan of the Cajun Burger, and every time son Michael is in town, his big “guilty indulgence” is the Stuffed Hash Brown at breakfast.
TIME FOR FRIENDS
Both Glasglows run the restaurant themselves, and are generally on-site any time it’s open. It’s most definitely a family business, too - daughter Kristin is on staff as a waitress (and parttime singer) and son Michael helps with graphic design.
“We all do everything, from cooking and cleaning to front of the house and administration, to prep work, to line work - we have a terrific staff that’s become a family over the years, as have many of our customers,” Val Glasgow says.
“We believe our success is because we’re invested in our customers, and give them the type of attention, food, and service we want when we go somewhere to dine,” Larry Glasgow says.
“In fact,” continues Val Glasgow, “our motto is ’where the only difference between strangers and friends is time.’”
The Water Street Cafe is located at 113 Water Street in downtown Boyne City, telephone 231-582-9929.