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Making a Flap A dining tradition gets a makeover in TC

Ross Boissoneau - July 25th, 2011
Making a Flap: A dining tradition gets a makeover in TC
By Ross Boissoneau
The Shack is back.
Shuttered last year, the Flap Jack Shack on US 31 in Traverse City across from Meijer reopened just over a month ago. And according to co-owner Scott Parkhurst, the reception from customers has been a very warm one.
“Every week has been bigger than the last,” said Parkhurst following a day’s busy lunchtime. “We’re really pleased.”
Not that anyone should be surprised at its success. Parkhurst and his partner Jeff Lobdell have established a solid track record, with several successful restaurants in both the Grand Rapids area and the Traverse City area. That includes the Omelette Shoppe restaurants in TC and Boone’s Prime Time Pub in Suttons Bay.
It was when the pair purchased the Omelette Shoppes six years ago that Parkhurst moved north. They had such success with the popular breakfast eateries they exported the concept to Grand Rapids, where they’ve since opened two more.
“It’s been very successful for us. We’re proud to grow the brand,” said Parkhurst.

But when they purchased the Flap Jack Shack, they opted to continue with that name and approach, rather than converting it to an Omelette Shoppe.
“We love getting on board with concepts with tradition and quality,” Parkhurst explained. He said in the case of the Flap Jack Shack, it was taking what it was previously known for and simply tweaking it.
That means keeping the focus on breakfast items, all of which are available throughout the day: oven-baked omelettes. Eggs however you want them, breakfast meats, hash browns. Skillet meals topped with basted eggs.
And, of course, pancakes, err, flap jacks. They come in a dizzying variety of flavors: Basic buttermilk. Strawberry and blueberry. Buckwheat. Banana.
Hold on, we’re just getting started. Don’t forget apple crisp. Or New York Cheesecake, with vanilla cream cheese in the batter, topped with strawberries and whipped cream.
And if you really want to indulge, the Reese’s peanut butter flavored and chocolate covered cherry both include a scoop of ice cream.
Still not satisfied? What about banana bread French toast, or stuffed lingonberry French toast? Oven-baked pancakes with lemon or apples?
Okay, all right, it’s not ALL about breakfast carbo-loading. The menu also offers burgers, sandwiches and baskets, which are also offered throughout the day.

Parkhurst said the quality of the food is something they take great pride in. “We clarify our own butter. We use Magnum coffee, it’s fresh roasted and in our stores within 24 hours,” he said.
And of course, there’s the signature product. “Our batter is made from scratch from our own recipe. That’s our calling cared, our recipe that no one else has,” he said.
Lobdell and Parkhurst didn’t stop with recreating and refurbishing the food offerings. They also renovated the interior, bringing it more up to date. The most noticeable change, however, is the addition of the deck out front.
“Where we’re located, we thought a deck would be a perfect fit. It’s a great view from the hill,” said Parkhurst. “The response has been amazingly positive.”
That view goes both ways. The iconic Flap Jack signage and oversize lantern are easily visible from the road, and the addition of the deck, with its tables and colorful umbrellas, ups the perceived fun quotient as well.

The Flap Jack Shack is located at 3980 N. US 31. It opens daily at 6 a.m., and is open Monday through Thursday until 8, Friday and Saturday till 10, and Sunday till 4. Call 941-1890, or go online at
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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