My husband and I are going home over winter break, leaving the DC area in a few short weeks. Packing a car-ride loving dog and a car-ride hating cat into our little Versa, we will drive two days across Northern Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Downstate Michigan, and across the Mackinac Bridge. Upon passing the northern end of the bridge and paying our toll we will be in the homeland, with only five hours across Yooperland to get to home (with frequent stops at favorite haunts along the way). We usually arrive at his parents’ lake house in Twin Lakes or my parents’ house in Tamarack City (a former superintendents’ house from the Calumet & Hecla Mine) in the mid to late evening on the second day of travel. On our first full day back home, without fail, we venture up to Calumet, MI to take in lunch and locally brewed beer at the Michigan House Café and the Red Jacket Brewing Co. to be followed by junk shop, book shop, and art gallery browsing. Basically, this first day home is as close to heaven on Earth as you can get.
The Michigan House Café is located in the downtown historic district of Calumet. The brewpub and the hotel attached on the upper level have been located on the corner of 6th and Oak Street since the late 1890’s. The Michigan hotel and the attached saloon have long been a local favorite as well as a tourist destination. The original saloon, Fox and Everts, was taken over by Bosch Brewing in 1905; Bosch Brewing Co. was a small brewing company (1874-1973) and I will share more about them later. After raising the original building and putting up a new structure, the building reopened to the public as a lodging, eating, and drinking establishment. A short distance from the legendary Calumet Theatre, local historians believe this local institution was a favorite of theater goers. The current owners keep the tradition of the Michigan House alive by offering great food and amazing microbrewed beer all in a dark wood and tile floored bar, filled with vintage pieces, antiques, art, and a noticeable appreciation for local history. The old wooden Bosch bar, the Bavarian oil painting depicting a drinking and jolly picnic scene, as well as mounted trophies, vintage beer bottles, tin signs, and other collectibles set the stage for a glorious dining experience in a historic setting. In short, you can see why it is one of my favorite places on the planet. Please check out my photostream on flickr to see some photos I’ve taken of the interior and exterior of the building.