I am presenting this blog series on the top taverns and bars in Northern Michigan. When up north sight seeing, hunting, boating, or fishing it is always fun to stop into a local, non franchised bar and have real food around real people. It is part of the lore of Up North. This series highlights some of my favorite spots.
This post is dedicated to Ma Deeters in Luzerne, MI. Ma Deeters burned down in a fire on October 2nd. Ma Deeters was a great place with lots of character and history. It had been in operation since 1921. They had great open face steak sandwiches, burgers and of course a great fish fry. Details haven’t released as to the cause of the fire and I am not sure if they will rebuild or not. It was a great place to stop when headed down M-72 to the Northeast side of the state.
In no particular order – here are up some great little spots where you don’t want to peek in the kitchen, just eat the good food, have a beer and make conversation.
Riley’s Rendez Vous — Walhalla
The Rendez Vous is a popular spot with steelhead and trout fisherman coming in after a day on the wold famous Pere Marquette river. (and don’t believe one word of any report you hear from the river – it’s all lies) Riley’s will be a fairly quiet spot during the week. Friday and Saturday will have some crowds, as they normally have karoke. The Friday fish fry will not disappoint you. Expect a lively atmosphere 8:00 in late April near the start of trout season. The Rendez Vous is located on US-10 west of Baldwin 8 miles.
Spike’s is possibly one of the most famous bars in the North. Located in the heart of Grayling It has great tradition and decent food. There are many military artifacts and wall footnotes in the bar as it has been a popular spot with soldiers at the nearby military base Camp Grayling. The service is generally good, occasionally when it is busy it can be short and curt. They have fried cheese curds which are a delicacy and the Spike burger never is a bad choice. One tip: NEVER get the Miller Lite on draft. It always is skunky. Spike’s is located on Business 75 in Grayling.
Silver Creek Inn — Paradise
Silver Creek Inn’s owners run a good business. The bar is no frills. Nice floor and wood tables. Two TV’s to watch the games. The menu is very straightforward – the grilled ham and cheese is a winner. The owners are extremely nice and do a great job taking care of their customers. Additionally – in an area where gas stations are sparse, they do have one gas pump. Silver Creek is on 123 just north of M-28 and Eckerman.
Another bar that has been around forever. The Remus Tavern has great food. I have gotten to know the owners personally and they are driven in making sure all customers are served quickly and with first class service. They run a tight ship and it shows. Another unique part of the Remus Tavern is the decor. It is nearly all hockey, in a town where there isn’t a rink for 20 miles. The owners are huge hockey people and Detroit Red Wing fans. There are many great sticks, pictures, posters on the wall, all autographed. It’s like a mini hockey hall of fame. The Remus Tavern is located just west of M-66 in Remus, MI.
Budd Lake Bar — Harrison
The Budd Lake Bar is a larger bar with a good sized seating area. You will find good crowds during the week, but especially on the Friday night fish fry. Very nice and modern wood decor, the bar has a good clean feel to it. Budd Lake Bar is conveniently located in the middle of Harrison on the corner of Business 27 and M-61. It also is closely located for to those camping at Wilson State Park.