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Art’s Tavern

August 25, 2021

  • 6487 W. Western Avenue
  • Glen Arbor, MI 49636
  • (231) 334-3754
  • Website
  • Menu

We had a lot to pack in to two days.

We took a weekend trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes to go hiking. J had several trails she wanted to do but, as with any trip, it was food that was at the top of my priority list.

There was one place I wanted to go while we were in the area. A pub in Glen Arbor that was recommended to me several years ago as being worth the drive from Traverse City.

Art’s Tavern is in very busy downtown Glen Arbor. The small restaurant sits on the corner of Western Avenue and Lake Street. The pub has been a staple in Glen Arbor since 1934….or 1926 if you count the previous owner with a different name for the space.

Art’s has both an inside space and a pretty large outdoor space. Inside the restaurant hasn’t changed much over the years. There are college and high school pennants hanging from the ceiling. Wood paneling dominates the decore both on the walls and on the ceilings. During normal times when space is an issue, they even have a lift for the pool table to store it under the floor so they can put more tables in during the busy season.

Right now, there aren’t a lot of tables inside but it is still an option. The pub has a pub feel with TV’s on the walls and minimalist furniture and booths.

We chose to sit outside and Art’s has quite a bit of outside seating right now. We were seated in the main patio area right next to the building but there’s also a large tent with more seating in front of the building right next to the main tavern.

There was a little bit of a wait before we got a table. We gave a phone number to a guy sitting under a tent near the entrance on Lake Street then went shopping in some of the nearby shops. About ten minutes later, I got a text that our table was ready so we headed back.

We had just completed a pretty good hike at Treat Farm Trail in nearby Empire and beer sounded good to both J and me. I picked the Double Two Hearted which I really haven’t seen on tap outside of the Eccentric Cafe. They had some other good looking options but I stuck with what I know and love.

There were no sours or ciders on the draft list so J picked the Honey Lav from Blackrocks Brewing. The Wheat Ale is a seasonal brewed with Michigan honey and floral lavender.

The menu is pretty much what you’d expect from a longstanding pub. It’s simple but it’s delicious.

I ordered the Bleu Burger. The sandwich is topped with bacon and a home made bleu cheese dressing. It comes with all the usual lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles things as well but the sandwich was better without all that. I typically prefer chunks of bleu cheese to bleu cheese dressing on burgers but the dressing was good so no complaints. I did lose a piece of bacon to B though who just wanted bacon for lunch. The sandwiches are served a la carte so I added on an order of steak fries.

J ordered Art’s Salad. The plate is mixed greens, cherries, and pecans with a poppy seed dressing. The waitress asked if she wanted the smoked chicken and J said yes. The chicken came on top of the salad cold which I think was a turn off for J. Cold chicken it too much like leftovers and she’s not a leftovers person. She gave most of it to me which I was happy to eat. Other than that, she had no complaints.

To go along with eh salad, J ordered cheese curds off the appetizer menu. I was going to suggest we get some for the table before she went ahead and did it. Fried cheese is always a hit and these cheddar filled fried balls were really tasty.

L found a salad on the menu and asked for that. The Garden Salad is pretty simple with lettuce, onions, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes. She asked for Ranch dressing….then asked for more once she exhausted her supply. I caught her a couple days later telling a friend how good the salad was and how she hopes we’d go back one day.

We got B a grilled cheese which he ate about half of. The sandwich is simple although they do have some add-ons. We probably should have gotten him bacon since he tried taking all the bacon off my sandwich.

Our bill for lunch was a little over $70 and Art’s only takes cash. There is an ATM on site and the host did make sure to tell us before we sat down that they are a cash only establishment.

Art’s Tavern is one of those restaurants in a resort town that you have to go to at some point. They’re longevity happens for a reason. The food is solid but it’s really the atmosphere and nostalgia that make this a Northern Michigan gem.

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