This sad news is about a famous Michigan landmark that is closing...They aren't Yoopers though....I am going there since I never had a chance before now. It was reviewed by The Sterns and they went crazy for it.
The last hurrah!: Juilleret’s closing its doors after 112 years in Harbor Springs
After 32 years of ownership, James (right) and Martha Juilleret will be closing the doors to the 112-year-old, family-run Juilleret’s Family Restaurant in September. It has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. (Kirsten Fredrickson/News-Review)
By Kirsten Fredrickson News-Review Staff Writer
Story updated: Monday, August 6, 2007 11:54 AM EDT
HARBOR SPRINGS — Every summer as a child Joyce Smith returned to Bay View to enjoy swimming in Little Traverse Bay, listening to live music provided every Sunday and traveling to Harbor Springs for homemade ice cream at Juilleret’s Family Restaurant.
“Every year when we were up it was tradition for us to go to Juilleret’s,” Smith recalled as she enjoyed the restaurant’s signature Thunder Cloud — a homemade ice cream sundae topped with a cloud of marshmallow topping. “Then I brought my kids here and now my kids bring their kids.”
Just like the generations that have enjoyed the Harbor Springs restaurant, four generations of the Juilleret family have owned and operated the 112-year-old landmark eatery.
It began in 1895 when Joseph A. Juilleret opened a boat livery and ice cream shop. And it will end this September when Jim and Martha Juilleret close the doors on the restaurant for the last time.
“It’s something we’ve worked toward,” Martha said of the difficult decision to close. “We could easily be here at 80 (years old), but it gets too hard.”
Jim, 60, and Martha, 54, said they have both put their hearts and souls — not to mention 15 or more hours a day, six days a week — into the restaurant for the past 32 years.
“We just can’t imagine people lined up out the door, crazy busy, and not be here to help,” Martha said.
That’s why those who go to Juilleret’s to enjoy its renowned planked whitefish, burgers and homemade ice cream treats, made with homemade toppings, will often see the owners at all hours.
“If they come back for dinner (after having lunch), they can still wave at us,” Jim said, adding that he’s often there till midnight preparing homemade goodies for the next day.
Despite knowing it’s time for them to hang up their aprons, Jim and Martha said there are definitely aspects of Juilleret’s that they will miss.
Jim, after all, has been working at the family business since he was 10 years old. That’s back when they were making their own french fries from potatoes and hamburgers from locally provided beef.
“It was like a community,” Jim said of those who worked alongside him as he was growing up. “It was fantastic. It was like a big fraternity or sorority.”
Not much has changed. The employees, many local high school students whose own parents once worked at Juilleret’s, are still like one big family. Even the customers, many who have brought generations of their own family to eat there, have become like family.
“I’ll miss the customers, the people we work with,” Jim said with a sad smile.
Bay View resident Paddie Zetterberg said she, too, will miss the family atmosphere she’s enjoyed at Juilleret’s since her first trip in 1956.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” she said of the restaurant closing. “My children were hooked on it. Now my grandkids are here and they’re hooked on it. Juilleret’s is an addiction.”
That love for Juilleret’s, which Jim and Martha have discovered is shared by local residents and visitors alike, has caused a celebration this final summer in Juilleret’s history.
“We were just going to go quietly out. But we were told that you just don’t go quietly out of a 112-year-old restaurant,” Jim said.
So staff members have been decked out in “The Last Hurrah!” and “Last Staff Standing” T-shirts. And guests have been stopping by to get one last bite of food or simply a look at the place. There’s even been inquires about getting a piece of history, such as ceiling tiles or even the jukebox, when it closes.
“Everyone would like a little part of it,” Jim said. “We’re just taking our time and deciding what to do.”
Kirsten Fredrickson can be reached at 439-9398, or firstname.lastname@example.org