Page 1


CONTENT: 1 Introduction 6 Icon Key 6 Main Map



1 Intro 11 Boat Up Bars 21 Hell's Half Mile 33 South End 39 From the club to the console 49 What Bars Offer 55 Bay City's Music scene

Publisher: Avram Golden Editor: Pati LaLonde Graphic Design by: Adam Wernecke Contributing Writers: Pati Lalonde Gina Myers Don Zuzula Jeremy Benson Contributing Photography: Avram Golden Andrew Kienbaum

COVER MODEL: Corey Gilbert COVER PHOTO BY: Avram Golden

Midland Street: Image by Avram Golden

7 West Side 15 Midland Street 19 East Side 25 Downtown 29 South End 37 Essexville 47 Munger

view from the bar at Harvey's Bar & Grill

INTRO BY PATI LALONDE Photography by: Avram Golden


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

I N T R O - F E AT U R E


ou know the place as well as you know your own living room.

publisher of the book. “Take your time and explore the city.”

It's the place where almost everyone knows your name and probably your drink.

Still not sure you're ready to stick your toe in uncharted waters?

It's the place where you meet friends on a certain night of each week to drink the same drink and talk the same talk. How about trying something new? Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a new place in a new area. But where to go.

“This is not an all in one night thing,” ... “Take your time and explore the city.”

Oh, come on in, the water's fine – especially near the beach, which is where you will find the Bay View Bar, perched at the foot of Patterson Road. New owners Frank and Jim Rutledge are offering up a host of specials throughout the week, starting with a make your own Bloody Mary on Sundays. “Come to bar get a glass with ice and vodka and put in your own sauces, mix and vegetables,” says Jenny Dockett, wife of one of the owners.

We invite you to check out the Bay City Bar Guide. With 15 pages of bar listings of 60 local establishments – from Kawkawlin to Munger and everything in between - you can design a pub crawl tailored to you and your friends. With the icons noting where to find shuffleboard, darts, karaoke, music and food, it's easy to find just what you are looking for. “This is not an all in one night thing,” says Avram Golden,

dining at Riverfront Grille & Lounge © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


I N T R O - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

On Monday the staff offers 75-cent tacos, while Tuesday is $2 burgers. On Wednesday the wings are 40 cents. Thursday is the night for jumbo nachos and bikes, and Friday is fish with a DJ. There is also a DJ on Saturday night.

When the weekend rolls around it's time for a little dancing to some live music. Bands perform from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7-11 p.m. Sunday. The bar also has pool tables, dart boards – with a fall league - and a full service menu. There is also a golf league. Call Jodi at 684-9109 for details. Do you sing in the shower? How about in your car? Ever thought of singing in a bar? BeMo's, 701 S. Madison St. is the place to do just that. Open mic sessions are held Monday and Tuesday night, with Monday being electric night and Tuesday acoustic night.

Photo by: Andrew Kienbaum

There are also games to be played, the bar sports a pool table, four steel tip dart boards, and one electronic, and a Megatouch, which is touch screen games. For the golfer in the crowd, there is a Golden Tee arcade game. Live bands and bike runs are the highlight at the Wil-Lew Lounge, 3005 E. Midland St. Anyone with a bike is welcome to stop by around 6 p.m. Thursday for a ride to a different destination each week. The ride gets back just in time for DJ Karaoke. 3

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

When the weekend rolls around it’s time for a little dancing to some live music. After that, it's up to the pros. Wednesday is a soloist while Thursday, Friday and Saturday are all about the rock bands. Don't forget your dancing shoes. Now it's your turn. Simply check off the things that interest you in the handy check off box and head out to explore.

Pool's Eye view at Madison Street Pub

I N T R O - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

...shuffleboard, darts, karaoke, music and food, it’s easy to find just what you are looking for. © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng




B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

WEST SIDE Applebee's

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Family environment that also features $2.50 Domestic Brewtus Beers all day Monday as well as other Daily Drink Specials after 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday.


(989) 671-0057

3500 Wilder R.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Located in the lower level of the Bay City Country Club, this casual dining establishment offers beer specials, free pool and the area’s only “BIMINI RING” game.

Stadium Sports Pub & Grill


(989) 684-6313

7255 3 Mile Rd.

Bay View Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Now owned by Frank and Jim Rutledge. Great food with daily drink specials and entertainment every weekend! Come join the fun in a friendly, sociable atmosphere.


(989) 671-0057

3008 Patterson Rd.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Family owned over 80 years. Specializing in Fresh Lake Perch, Seafood, Steaks, Italian Steak Sandwiches, Nachos & More. Homemade Soups & Salads. Full Bar with Daily Specials!

Bergers Family Restaurant


(989) 686-0224

6387 Westside Saginaw Rd.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Casual dining with large deck overlooking the river. Food and entertainment 7 days a week. Fun, friendly atmosphere for all seasons. Please come join us!



(989) 686-3558

3940 Boy Scout Rd.


BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Experience Harvey’s…. Delicious food….Upscale atmosphere.....Exciting Martini selection….. Great prices.....Happy hour Mon-Fri. 3-6 & 9-CL and Sat 9-CL....Apps starting at $2.95


(989) 686-3304

4000 Wilder Rd. © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


WEST SIDE Latitude 43

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Upscale feel with casual prices on dishes including fresh cut steak cooked over a wood-fire grill, pasta, seafood, sandwiches and a full service bar with 27 draft beers.


(989) 391-9868

1013 W. Henry St.

Mort's Northern Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Come GET MORTIFIED! Comfortably casual, friendly & fun! Leagues, contests and games and weekend entertainment. Serving pub food and beer specials of $1 cans ‘til 6 p.m. daily!


(989) 684-0843

353 State Park Dr.

My Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Join us at My Bar! $1.00 can beer 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. everday! Ladies Night Fridays, $1.50 can beer + well drinks. $1.50 can beer Wed. 6 p.m. - close. 50 cent pool tables.


(989) 686-5070

3395 Old Kawkawlin Rd.

WEST SIDE Stretch's Curve Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Established in 1985, Stretch's Curve features 2 pool tables, dart boards, and Flatscreen TV's for entertainment. Jack's Deli has recently relocated to Stretch's and customers can now enjoy sandwiches daily until 10 pm.


(989) 894-0344

618 S. Henry St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Friendly neighborhood bar with drink specials during Karaoke on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday from 9 p.m.- 1:30 a.m. Occasional entertainment with live bands, call to check dates & times!

Whyte Goose Inn


(989) 895-5342

108 State St.

Wil-Lew Lounge

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. We have it all! Great entertainment, food, drinks, darts, pool and lots and lots of parking. We are the talk of the town!


(989) 684-9109

3005 E. Midland Rd.

BOAT UP BARS BY PAT I L A L O N D E Photography by: Avram Golden


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011



here is nothing like being on the water says Jeff Staudacher as he and wife Michelle head their boat up the Kawkawlin River for an evening of boating. Tonight the couple had a destination in mind – downtown Bay City for dinner and drinks. After a quick trip across the Saginaw Bay, the pace turns leisurely, giving those on board a chance to enjoy the trip up the Saginaw River. Castaways lights up the night

Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


B O AT U P B A R S - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

Although the shore is dotted with a power plant, and other businesses, there is still enough wild areas to catch a glimpse of egrets and a bald eagle on shore while ducks bob in the water. And, for those lucky enough, they may see a fish jump from the water to catch a juicy bug. There is also history in the Saginaw Rear Range Light, which still stands close to the mouth of the river.

And the waterfront is still bustling, but now it's more about pleasure than commerce. Ask any boater and they will tell you its a special and unique place to be whether it's after the work day ends or a sunny weekend afternoon.

“It feels like you are up north. It’s like you are on vacation every day.”

Although the light no longer guides ships through the dark night to the river channel, the light house still stands as a reminder of days gone by.

“It's very relaxing,” says Kathy Braun of Essexville. “The whole trip, get out on the river. It's beautiful at night, it's quiet and it's peaceful.”

Braun and husband Butch tied up at the Kingfish docks after a trip up river to Saginaw.

For the trivia buffs. Did you know the light was manned by two women while it was in use?

And, says Greg Kimbrue, who owns the Kingfish with Willis Wells, it's a great place to watch the sunset.

Julia Brawn Wray was the keeper from 1873 to 1882. Brawn Wray oversaw the building of the present brick structure. From 1883 to 1886 Nellie Buzzard was the keeper of the light.

The Kingfish is one of two establishments on the Saginaw River offering docks for boaters to tie up, get food and a cold drink while doing a little people and boat watching..

The shores were also home to shipbuilders like Davidson and Defoe. Skeletons of ships can still be seen peaking out of the water at the sites.

Across the river at Hooters Greg Schell and Jake Colan, both of Bay City were tying up at the dock, something they like to do in the summer.

Although the ship builders and loggers are long gone, tankers still head up river brining in materials such as sand, gravel and coal.

“I think that one of the best things about Bay City is you can come up the river, hit a dock, have some good food and a couple of


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

B O AT U P B A R S - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

Hooters Bay City

drinks,” said Schell. They weren't the only ones taking advantage of the summer evening With music supplied by one of the boat owners, boaters and others filled the deck over looking the water at the eatery that sits at the foot of Midland Street to enjoy wings, a cold one and each other's company. It isn't just locals who know a good thing when they see it. Joe Scholl and Larry Sawyer, residents of Buffalo, N.Y., which has access to Lake Erie and the Erie Canal, both were very impressed with the activity that goes on in the river.

Living extends beyond Hooters and the King Fish. Castaways on the Kawkawlin River also offers docking space for boater to pull up and enjoy the evening. “I think it's nice you can get on your boat and cruise right down the river,” said Pam Kennedy of Bay City who tied up at Castaways with a pontoon full of friends. “It feels like you are up north. It's like you are on vacation every day.”

“It's nice to see you guys are taking advantage of the river,” said Sawyer. “This is living,” added Scholl. “Normal is normal. When you can come and do this, this is normal.”

Dockside service at The Kingfish Restaurant © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng



Duso's Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Open Daily 'til 2 a.m. Featuring daily drink specials. Where the locals and out-of-towners join in on the most unique bar to find their favorite drink always on SAIL.


(989) 482-9935

604 E. Midland St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Best pub on Midland Street! Menu features great micro-brew selections, pizza, sandwiches and salads and a lounge area with big screen TVs. Full banquet facility for up to 200 guests.

Midland Street Jack's


(989) 892-5741

605 E. Midland St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Family owned for over 48 years! Open 7 days a week and features 27 TVs, Lions blacked out games and all your other favorite sports. Happy hours Monday-Friday from 1-7 p.m. and daily food and drink specials!

Rathskeller Food & Spirits


(989) 892-0621

600 E. Midland St.


BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Serving award-winning steaks and a wide-variety of ice-cold, handcrafted beers which you may also purchase our brews to enjoy at home!

MAP: MS-D 15

(989) 891-0100

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

804 E. Midland St.

MIDLAND STREET BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Lucky’s Pub is open every night until 2 a.m. and features Karaoke, Foosball and Grill. Westown was voted the area’s best dance club and boasts the Tr-Cities’ largest dance floor.

Lucky's Pub & The Westown


(989) 895-9005

615 E. Midland St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. A historic bar with a full menu, seasonal outdoor dining and unbelievable rock & roll music decor. DJ entertainment Friday & Saturday and Trivia Competition on Thursdays.

The River Rock Cafe


(989) 894-5500

614 E. Midland St.

The Vault

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. The Tri-Cities premier music venue hosting local, regional, and national acts at a reasonable price. We are also available for promoters who would like to throw a concert, party or benefit.


(989) 891-2453

505 E. Midland St.

MIDLAND STREET Stables Martini & Cigar Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Bay City’s only cigar bar! Featuring live entertainment every weekend. Offering dozens of varieties of specialty martinis. Cigars and hookahs always available.


(989) 891-0717

805 E. John St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Brady’s Diner and Big House Sports Bar serves the best burgers and wraps in town! Now featuring arcade games galore and a new dance floor!

Brady's/Big House Sports Bar


(989) 894-2207

512 Midland St.


Paddy's Green Hut

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Established in 1934 with five generations of Irish tradition; a collection of Irish music by F.C.C; Guinness on tap; 40+ beers; 80+ liquors; and an ancestral map. Céad míle fáilte!

MAP: ES-A 19


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

1301 Columbus Ave.

EAST SIDE Coonan's Irish Pub

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Neighborhood bar under new ownership by Kim Coonan with variety of bottled and tap beers. Featuring great homemade soups, chili, salads, Italian steak sandwiches, Irish Reubens and the best burgers in town!


(989) 402-1177

1004 N. Johnson St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Fun, casual atmosphere, friendly staff, live entertainment, great food and argualbly the best Fish in town. Everyone has a little Hoolie in them!

Hooligan's Food & Spirits


(989) 894-2938

3022 N. Water St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. A nice family bar & grill located in downtown Bay City. Karaoke on weekends and trivia on Thursday nights with cash prizes! Also, 3 huge television to watch all your favorite sports.



(989) 892-9220

400 Washington Ave.

HELL'S HALF MILE BY G I N A MY E R S Photo from the collection of the Bay County Historical Society


oday, walking through Downtown Bay City, one is likely to encounter a variety of businesses such as boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, bars, and restaurants. At night, people may grab dinner at Old City Hall, catch live music at The Kingfish, and bar hop their way through the area. There are no signs remaining to hint at the area’s rougher past, when six blocks of Water Street was commonly referred to as Hell’s Half Mile for the stretch of saloons and brothels that served loggers and shipmen. In 1819, Saginaw became the first white settlement in the area, but Bay City, originally called “Lower Saginaw,” was soon to follow because large ships had difficulty navigating the shallower waters near the Saginaw settlement. 21

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

New European Hotel -circa 1909

H E L L' S H A L F M I L E - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

“These men hadn’t had a bath, downed a drink, or seen a woman for six to eight months, so they were ready for action.” © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


H E L L' S H A L F M I L E - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

Third Street Waterfall Park Downtown Bay City: photo by Avram Golden

Lumber was the industry of the day and due to its reliance on shipping, the settlement of Lower Saginaw, which had deeper waters, made good sense. Lumbering, milling, and shipbuilding created many jobs there, and by 1860, Lower Saginaw had reached a population of 2,000. In 1865, Bay City incorporated as a city.

on the railroad for the workers returning from the north, bringing thousands of lumberjacks into the city with the spring thaw.

While the wild west has been popularized in books, movies, and television shows, not as much attention has been given to shanty boys and lumberjacks, but they were every bit as wild as their cowboy counterparts.

Local historian Jeremy W. Kilar notes in his book Bay City Logbook, “Bay City especially stood out for its tolerance of and association with vice and violence.”

The life of a lumberjack was difficult and involved being in the woods working 12 hours a day for about eight months at a stretch. Bay City was often the first stop 23

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

As noted on the Kingfish Restaurant Web site, “These men hadn’t had a bath, downed a drink, or seen a woman for six to eight months, so they were ready for action.”

Out-of-town newspapers contributed to Bay City’s reputation by referring to it as “Tramp Heaven” and “Bum City.” Brawls were a common event, and prostitution, which was legal in Michigan until after World War I, was a major industry. Little was ever done to

regulate prostitution because it benefited saloonkeepers, businessmen and law enforcement. Even the town marshal, D.H. McCraney owned a brothel. The wild times along Hell’s Half Mile came to an end in the 1880s with the professionalization of the police force, which brought better pay, better organization, and a higher caliber of policemen to patrol the city.

zoomed in view of New European Hotel patron


Gatsby's Seafood & Steakhouse

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Take a step back in time to the Roaring Twenties! We offer 10 different chargrilled steaks and seafood dishes and more on our affordable menu. We also have an extensive beer selection to appeal to everyone!

MAP: DT-A 25

(989) 922-5556

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

203 Center Ave.

DOWNTOWN BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Family oriented restaurant, casual environment with an extensive menu, full bar, big screen TV, WiFi and a private dining room for parties or business meetings. Daily lunch and dinner specials!

G's Pizzeria & Deli


(989) 891-9400

1005 Saginaw St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Come in to play all your favorite games! Keno, lottery, Megatouch, shuffleboard, pool and darts. Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 3-7 p.m. and weekly specials!

Jake's Corner Bar


(989) 895-9510

114 3rd St.

The Kingfish Restaurant and Tiki Lounge

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. The Kingfish features Michigan’s largest outdoor Tiki Bar with a full menu of food & drinks located on the Saginaw River in downtown Bay City.


(989) 894-0772

1019 N. Water St.

DOWNTOWN BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. An upscale nostaligic sports pub featuring great food and friendly service. Home to Bay City’s original sizzler steak dinner for only $8.50! With brick walls, and original wood floors - you’ll swear you’re at Cheers!

Mulligans Pub


(989) 893-4555

109 Center Ave.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. An upscale, yet casual restaurant featuring seasonal outdoor seating, spectacular views of the riverfront, a variety of American and regional cuisine and daily drink specials.

Riverfront Grille & Lounge (Doubletree)


(989) 891-6000

One Wenonah Park Pl.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Casual fine dining with a big city atmosphere. Featuring two expert chefs and a superb wait staff. Selection of 125 wines and 23 draft beers.

Old City Hall


(989) 892-4140

814 Saginaw St.

Prime Event Center

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Mid-Michigans premier concert and entertainment location. Live music every weekend and national concert acts throughout the year. Call 989-402-4848 or visit


(989) 402-4848

1201 Washington Ave.

Stein Haus

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Authentic German tavern with an International lunch & dinner menu, 14 imported & draft beers, extensive imported & domestic beer and wine selection. Outdoor seating and banquet room available.


(989) 891-2337

1108 N. Water St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. World Cafe offers international cuisine in a modern, casual environment. Full bar with local microbrews and International wines with outdoor seating on the spacious sidewalk cafe.

World Cafe


(989) 402-1110

200 Center Ave. Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng



Malickey's Pub

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Friendly neighborhood corner bar with daily drink specials, happy hours noon -7 p.m., monthly theme parties and plenty of parking. Everyone is welcome at Malickey’s!


(989) 414-6667

501 S. Madison Ave.

Bishop's Inn

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. South end friendly neighborhood bar with a “Cheers” atmosphere. Munchie type food available. Pool, darts, 5 TVs, Internet, jukebox, Keno and scratch-offs.


(989) 895-9352

804 South Farragut St.

Jake's South Inn

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Come in to play Keno, Megatouch, shuffleboard, pool and darts. Happy Hours Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and karaoke Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m!

MAP: SE-C 29

(989) 892-5922

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

615 S. Farragut

SOUTH END Lighthouse Lounge

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Come join us at the Lighthouse Lounge where the party never ends! Our great entertainment includes a DJ, dance music and karaoke. Best dance floor in town!


(989) 895-9208

1125 S. Water St.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Come to see the newly remodeled Madison Street Pub! We have shuffleboard, darts, pool tables and a pinball machine. Also, morning and afternoon beer specials, plus some of the friendliest staff.

Madison Street Pub


(989) 892-1080

1001 S Madison Ave.

Ole Tyme Broadway

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Restaurant, lounge, and banquet facility available for your party needs. Great burgers, coney dogs, sanwiches and more! Daily food and drink specials, pool table, Keno & lottery and weekend karaoke!


(989) 892-1144

1602 Broadway St.

Krzysiak's House

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Krzysiak’s began in 1979 as Big Dan’s Bar and is known for homecooked, authentic Polish meals at good prices and serving Polish beer to compliment your dining experience.


(989) 894-5531

1605 Michigan Ave.


Southend bar with a variety of live music 7 nights a week. Voted best rock club in Bay City 2009 & 2010 by Review Magazine. Drink specials Mon-Thurs. Daily happy hour 3-7 p.m.


(989) 893-7071

701 S. Madison

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Friendly neighborhood bar that offers beer specials daily and great burgers and the home of the “penny peanut machine.” Come out and watch your favorite sports on our 73” HD TV!

Barney's Bar & Grill


(989) 895-9373

800 Michigan Ave. © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


SOUTH END Spinning Wheel Bar

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Thursday, Friday and Saturday request DJ & Karaoke. Thursdays $2 wells and pucker shots. Theme parties once a month. Only at the Wheel, Baby!


(989) 895-5777

1616 Broadway St.

Still Tubby's Pub

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Aside from excellent bar food, Tubby's offers shuffleboard, pool, darts, video games, Internet jukebox, and Golden Tee. Open 7 days a week, great drink specials daily!


(989) 895-5621

1301 Koscuizko Rd.

Bay City Bills

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Enjoy our wide variety of delicious food in a fun and cozy atmosphere. Daily drink specials. Sundays are “Customer Appreciation Day!”



1215 Michigan Ave.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Family operatied for 50 years! Always friendly atmosphere, supports many sports at local events, fair prices ALL the time, day or night. Hours 7 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.

Bell Bar


(989) 893-8381

1314 Columbus Ave.


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

Barney's Bar South End Bay City


t’s a typical South End bar,” you might have read in a consumer review or heard a friend say. Indeed, it’s hard to live, work, or play in Bay City and not overhear similar sentiments. However, what is a typical of a South End bar, what makes them different from any other pub or tavern, might not be obvious. That’s because on the surface, the bars south of Columbus Street and west of Tuscola Road look a lot like most neighborhood bars, inside and out. Some are modified houses, sitting on the corner, nearly blending in with the Aladdin pre fab homes that make up the rest of the street. Others are storefronts along brief business districts that have seen better days. Inside, their lights are low; walls fitted with paraphernalia and memorabilia of the clientele’s beers of choice— usually whatever is coldest and cheapest — with a pool table or two, a jukebox, and maybe a television mounted in the corner, running Keno.

SOUTH END B Y JE RE M Y B E N S O N Photography by: Avram Golden

Rather, the difference between a bar in the South End and any other neighborhood watering hole is its surroundings and regulars, and the rich history they share. What we now call the South End began when probate judge Albert Miller purchased land from the Trombley brothers, the first permanent settlers of Bay County. © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


S O U T H E N D - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

...the Polish-tinted banter between decades-old family friends, and the unbreakable pride for the community and tradition. 35

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

Outdoor view of Barney's Bar South End Bay City

S O U T H E N D - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d In 1837, the year Michigan became a state, Miller hired a surveyor to lay out the streets of his town, which he called Portsmouth, because of its proximity to the river’s mouth. He then established a mill on the riverfront, which would provide the lumber and funding to build and advertise the township, as well as a place of employment for its new settlers. By the 1870s, when Portsmouth was annexed into Bay City, the South End had sprouted eight more mills, among other bustling manufacturing plants, including the busiest wooden-ware factory in the U.S. Behind the booming industry was a hardworking group of Polish immigrants. About 200 Polish families settled in Portsmouth Township around 1870, working as farm hands in the beet fields. They were the last of the European immigrants to arrive in the region. Quickly proving their

work ethic, the lumber barons sought to fill their mills, factories, and salt mines with Polish workers. The workers, who had arrived hoping to save money to purchase their own land, were eager for a mill workers wages, too. The South End bloomed with the smells and sounds of PolishAmerican culture. At the peak, 17th and 18th streets had an 84 percent concentration of Polish immigrants. Even now, PolishAmericans make up a quarter of modern-day Portsmouth Township’s population. Chances are the folks you’ll meet at the Spinning Wheel or Bishop’s Inn are the greatgrandchildren of those first Polish families. They define what’s typical of a South End bar: The Polish-tinted banter between decades-old family friends, and the unbreakable pride for the community and tradition.


BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Silver Palace Bar & Grill, Home of the famous Palace Burger and friday fish frys! Daily lunch specials, homemade soups. 1.5 miles from the Bay County Golf Course. Family friendly atmosphere.

Silver Palace



(989) 892-1072

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

1500 Woodside

Responsible drinking. Know the facts.

A drink is A drink. It doesn’t matter whether you’re drinking beer, wine, a cooler or a cocktail.

BEforE you lift your glAss, know thE fActs. Just .08 percent blood

ExcEssivE drinking cAn: • Slow reaction time and impair judgment and coordination—skills needed to drive a car safely. The more you drink, the greater the risk of injury or death to you and others.

alcohol concentration (BAC) is considered legally drunk (two to three drinks in one hour). A BAC of .37 percent

• Increase health risks, including high blood pressure,

or higher can cause

stroke and certain types of cancer.

coma and death due to

• Lead to dependency, violence and even suicide.

respiratory arrest. Under 21? Any alcohol in your

your risk incrEAsEs whEn you ExcEEd thEsE limits: Women—more than one drink per day Men—more than two drinks per day

system is against the law.

drink rEsponsiBly.

Drinking too many alcoholic beverages is harmful to you and to others. Stay healthy, stay sober. This message brought to you by:

Bay County Prevention Network Better doctors. Better care.


drink rEsponsiBly.

709 Ninth St., Bay City 989.895.3510


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011


Andy Reed of the Reed Recording Company BY DON ZUZULA Photography by: Avram Golden

He was playing a matinee show

at a small club in Saginaw and singing Beatles tunes out of a book. With one guitar and a few effects pedals, he managed to re-create in perfect four-part harmony fantastic representations of nostalgic classics. When I was certain I couldn't be more impressed, he broke out some of his original works, and I realized I was seeing one of this area's great talents: Andy Reed. Andy wears a lot of hats as a singer and a songwriter, as well as he has performing on stages all over the world with his own projects, with popular cover acts or as the current bassist for enduring Michigan rock heroes The Verve Pipe.

Andy Reed performing at BEMO'S

Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


F R O M T H E C LU B - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

On the other side of the microphone, he is one of the top recording engineers in the region and owner of Bay City based Reed Recording Co.. Before leaving for a two week trip with The Verve Pipe I caught up with Andy to ask his thoughts on all things music in Bay City.

Mitchell's two albums, Stephen Colarelli, Jeff Yantz, Scott Baker, The Tosspints, Hans Landa, Arthur Autumn, The Triple Aces, Bryan Rombalski, and The Automatics. I also do my own recordings of my solo work. I love the variety of music I get coming in to the studio.

DZ: What has been your favorite role in the music industry? AR: My favorite role has been learning the craft of songwriting. There are limitless ways to compose music. I love writing a song, then thinking about production, setting up mics and recording it, then mixing and mastering. I love being able to be take a piece of music through all of the stages from the beginning to the end.

DZ: What do you think is the best part of the music scene in this town?

Pat Sweeny playing the washboard at BEMO'S

DZ: You're well known both here in Bay City and abroad for being on all sides of the music business, singer, songwriter, businessman, musician, and engineer. Describe some of your projects. AR: I've been very lucky to have been a part of some great recordings and live shows in the area. There are a lot to list. My proudest recordings are Brett 41

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

AR: The best part of the music scene is definitely the mutual respect all the musicians and bands have for each other. There isn't a lot of ego floating around and everyone enjoys sharing the stage with their friends and fellow musicians. I've met a ton of talented people over the past 15 years of playing music in this area. Also the original music scene has found a couple of homes in the area like Bemo's and White's in Saginaw. I think its really important that original artists have a place to show their talent.

F R O M T H E C LU B - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

DZ: Do you have any favorite spots that you've played or attended shows? AR: My favorite spots are Bemo's and White's just for the reasons I've listed about. I also like The Wil-Lew. They have the best cover bands there every weekend as well. There are some great cover bands in our area too.

DZ: Describe your experience as a musician in Bay City. AR: Bay City has always been really good to me through all of my musical journeys. I've always found places to play when needed. The studio is doing very well. When I played my first hometown show with The Verve Pipe back

in the spring, we filled The State Theatre. I knew probably half the people in the audience. It felt really great to see the support from my hometown.

I knew probably half the people in the audience. It felt really great to see the support from my hometown. DZ: You are the sole proprietor of one of the top recording studios in the area. Tell us about the history of the Reed Recording Co. AR: Reed Recording Co. is my baby. It's what I want to do for the rest of my life. I pride myself on being a musicians recording engineer. I love the art of recording music. I also want to be the guy who gets the organic sounds from musicians. In a world of manufactured music, I think we've lost sight of the purity of sound. I use a lot of classic preamps and microphones to capture the warmth of analog in a digital world. I got into recording by recording myself because it was cheaper. Then a friend of mine, Brett Mitchell, asked me if Id record his record. I said sure. It kinda snowballed from word of mouth. I haven't really advertised yet, but I continue to be insanely busy, which is great.

Photo by: Andrew Kienbaum Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


F R O M T H E C LU B - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

DZ: Why did you choose Bay City as the location for the Reed Recording Co.? AR: I chose Bay City for the studio because this is my home. It's safe and affordable. The location has been a good choice. I've had artists from Roscommon, West Branch, Clio, Midland, and Saginaw. I've had some out of state clients as well because of my resources to record all analog.

DZ: You are on the performance side of music as well as the production side, how has this effected you as a songwriter and performer? AR: Being able to perform a song and shape it in a live setting before you record it is extremely valuable. You can get a reaction or useful


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

feedback from listeners if you are open to those kinds of things, which I usually am. I can be pretty stubborn at times with my own music, but it never hurts to hear suggestions from others. In the end, you the writer, has the final say.

DZ: As an engineer, you spend a lot of time with the local talent, do you have any favorites? AR: Not to cop out of an answer but I really have enjoyed 95 percent of the artists I record. I don't take on a client unless I am going to be into the music they are doing. I know if it's something I am not going to enjoy, my heart won't be into it. Then you are just doing it for the paycheck, which I said I'd never do.

Brett Mitchell playing the drums at BEMO'S

F R O M T H E C LU B - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

Banana Convention outside of BEMO'S

The best part of the music scene is definitely the mutual respect all the musicians and bands have for each other. Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


F R O M T H E C LU B - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

DZ: Tell us about some of the more memorable experiences you've had in the studio.

AR: I have a couple of things coming up that I am super excited about.

AR: My most memorable moment has to be when Bob Hausler was recording harmonica on Scott

The Tosspints are releasing their record done at RRC on vinyl. This will be the first ever vinyl record recorded at the studio. We also used the reel-to-reel on the recording so it suits the medium well. I have another solo record coming out under the name "An American Underdog." It should be out within the next few months also released on vinyl and CD formats.

Andy Reed performing at BEMO'S

Baker's record. In the middle of a take, my dog Coco threw up on the floor behind him. He later posted on his Facebook page how his harmonica playing made my dog get sick. I thought that was hilarious. That's the most memorable. The more magical moments happen during playback when the band hears the track back for the first time. I can tell by the look on their faces that they are excited, which makes me feel great cause I'm doing a good job thus far.

DZ: Do you have anything special or interesting coming up that you'd like to talk about?


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

I have some new geeky gear heading my way. I call them new toys. After all, I believe that no one should ever grow up completely. What's the point? You should play. Whether it's with recording gear, a guitar, a jet ski, whatever. Do what you enjoy. I feel truly blessed to have friends come over everyday to make music.

"I really have enjoyed 95 percent of the artists I record." For more info, log on to


BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Come have a drink at a classic, family-owned, nostalgic 1950’s bar! We’re known for our good food and cleanliness and enjoyable, family-friendly Atmosphere.

John’s Bar


(989) 659-2951

1476 S. Tuscola

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Shannon’s Firehouse has it all! Great food, fun atmosphere, great service, Theme Menu Nights on Wednesdays and Live Country Bands all weekend. Check us out!

Shannon’s Firehouse


(989) 659-2683

56 E. Munger Rd.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. The Tool Shed offers many indoor & outdoor activities such as: horseshoes, ladder golf, darts, billiards, Wii, Nudgemaster gaming & Keno. Great food & ATM available. Bikers Welcome!

The Tool Shed Pub & Grub

MAP: MU-C 47

(989) 659-2698

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

12 W. Munger Rd.

WHAT BARS OFFER BY PAT I L A L O N D E Photography by: Avram Golden


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011


here is a lot more to Bay City's bar scene than meets the eye. Yes, people do gather to have a few drinks, but what Bay City bars have to offer goes way beyond just a place to gather after work or on weekends. Many of the area establishments are home to area service groups. The Bay City Noon Rotary meets at noon Tuesdays at BARTS, 804 E. Midland St., Bay City Noon Optimist Club meets at 12:15 p.m. Tuesdays


at the Stein Haus, 1109 N. Water St., and the Bay City Lions Club meets at noon Wednesdays September through May at the Kingfish Restaurant & Tiki Lounge, 1019 N. Water St. The groups meet to not only conduct business, but to plan fundraisers to help out those less fortunate in the community as well. While membership for the clubs is by invitation only, those interested are welcome to stop by and check out the group. Owner Mike Garcia lines up a shot at the Madison Street Pub

Speaking of those less fortunate, bar owners and their patrons are always ready to lend a helping hand to others in the community, by hosting dinners, trivia contests and sporting events to raise needed funds. When it comes to kids and Christmas, The Hard Hat Club at the Silver Place1500 Woodside Ave., Essexville, is there to make sure on one goes without during the holiday season.

Š 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


W H AT B A R S O F F E R - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

“They do a chicken dinner the first weekend in December,” says Kris Letzgus, manager of the neighborhood bar. The bar also contributes to the Essexville Lion's Club annual fundraising dinner held at the Grand in September. The staff donates the soup for the meal. By the way, heading to the Palace on Friday nights has long standing tradition for those looking for a good a fish fry. Staff serve up walleye, cod, perch, shrimp and frog legs year round. Be aware there is a bit a wait. But says, Letzgus, patrons gather around the bar for a few drinks and a little chatting while waiting for a table. The Kingfish is also home to the Thursday Night Thrillers hosted by WHNN's Johnny Burke. “With Johnny Burke being the focus, it brings in a lot of different people,” said Greg Kimbrue, coowner of the bar with Willis Wells.

“WHNN has a large listening area.” The drink of the evening is the Nearly Famous Wine which is $1.96 per glass. Four cents of each glass sold goes to the John Burke Children's Foundation. There are also prizes and free appetizers.

-way beyond just a place to gather after work or on weekends. Over on Johnson Street, 1004 N. Johnson St., to be exact, the staff at Coonan's Irish Hub are combing new technology with a few old traditions. Football fans are welcome to stop in and watch Sunday night football on the big screen while enjoying what Erin Whisman, daughter of owner Kim Coonan, calls old school beers. Yup, this is the place to get a glass of Strohs, Blatz and Pabst Blue Ribbon beers for $1.50. Enjoy that beer with $1 hot dog. The bar is also set up for WiFi, for business men and those who just want to get away from it all while still staying connected.

Penny Peanut Machine at Barney's Bar 51

B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

This family friendly neighborhood bar will also be sponsoring a T-ball team and softball teams next year.

W H AT B A R S O F F E R - F E AT U R E c o n t i n u e d

Many area bars are home to sports teams from softball to golf leagues to shuffleboard and dark tournaments. If there is any doubt on the sport, check out the bar's trophy case. Summing up the Bay City bar scene – each bar is unique in its own right just as the customers who frequent each establishment. Check around, we're sure you will find a place that fits. Shuffleboard table at The Madison Street Pub

– each bar is unique in its own right just as the customers who frequent each establishment. © 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng



© 2 0 1 1 G o l de n Pub l i s hi ng


BAY CITY MUSIC SCENE BY: D O N Z U Z U L A Live Music at BEMO'S: photo by Avram Golden

Bay City is pretty well known for

it's fantastic nightlife. But when deciding where to go for live music in the area, it would be easy to get lost looking for something that you like. Cover bands can be found all over Bay City playing Top 40, country and rock and roll. Bars and clubs like Duso's, Castaways, Wil-Lew Lounge and The Kingfish are some popular spots to enjoy live local acts. For something larger, the Prime Event Center frequently holds concerts featuring the nation's best tribute bands. Down on Midland Street the sounds of live acts emanating out of many of the establishments can be heard as you're walking up the boulevard. The Stables Martini and Cigar Bar, behind BARTS, is the spot to find local jazz and blues acts. Up the street a bit, Midland Street


B ay Cit y B a r G uide 2011

Pub and O'Hares feature many of the areas best Top 40 and rock and roll cover acts. Further down, at the tip of the bar district is The Vault, which claims to host the city's only national booked stage, but offers some some of the city's best original rock, punk, and heavy metal shows. The Arlington hotel, is rumored to be haunted and rumored to feature shows of great local rock music. Far across the river, way back in the streets named after our nation's presidents sits BeMo's, the only club in town that has live music every single night of the week. BeMo's has a large variety of acts come through in just about every genre imaginable and also the town's only consistent open mic night. Nearly any type of music can be found just about any night of the week in Bay City, from cover to country, jazz to rock and roll, it only depends on what you're in the mood for.

Bay City Bar Guide  

Bar Guide of Bay City Michigan.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you