Crews Inn, Harrison Township
The Crews Inn motto is “Who cares about your
liver when you’re partying on the river?” and
patrons seem to embrace the maxim. Visitors can
cruise into one of the eight boat wells at this
casual dining spot, or the parking lot for land
Located off the Clinton River, Crews Inn boasts
water views and a loaded outdoor tiki bar. Open
year-round for lunch and dinner, the
restaurant’s menu includes a variety of seafood
appetizers and entrees, as well as soups,
sandwiches, and salads.
“I think for the quality of food that we put out
for the waterfront dining, we really step up the
dining experience a little bit,” general manager
Jeff Metry says. “We make all our own soups
here, we make all our own salad dressings, we're
not bringing any frozen foods in, and we're
preparing all the sauces ourselves. You get good
quality food, and you're getting one of the best
views in the tri-county area.”
In addition to food with a view, Crews Inn also
features live music — typically Sundays starting
at 3 p.m. and Thursdays at 6 or 7 p.m. outside
near the tiki bar.
“We’re a very friendly place,” Metry says.
“You're going to come in here and you're going
to get treated like you’re family — like you've
been a regular coming here for 20 years.”
Continental at Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores
Come for a meal here and leave with a bit of
history. Established last year, this lakeside
restaurant is located in the new visitor center
of the Ford House — the historic estate of Edsel
and Eleanor Ford.
The casual spot offers unique American cuisine
and a full bar, and the restaurant is open for
lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
“There are some menu items that are inspired by
the Ford family's history,” says Clare Pfeiffer,
the director of communications and engagement
for Ford House. “In particular, Eleanor Ford was
a Hudson as well, so we have some menu items
that are from the historic Hudson's department
store restaurant, including popover rolls and a
In addition to patio dining, The Continental has
the Speedster — a quick service counter named
after one of Edsel Ford’s cars — where guests
can order take out and opt to picnic on the
estate grounds on the lawn or by the lake.
“It’s really a nice place to kind of get away
because when you visit [the restaurant], you can
also visit the 87-acre grounds and gardens at
Ford House, so you can dine and then go for a
stroll and walk along the lake or walk through
the rose garden, look at the historic home — it
really creates a whole destination,” Pfeiffer
Octopus' Beer Garden, Mount Clemens
Enjoying a craft beer in the Octopus’ Garden (in
the shade) is proving popular this summer.
Opened in 2019 by the Halaas family, this
restaurant is a barge floating on the Clinton
River. The Octopus’ Garden is seasonal,
operating mid-May through mid-October.
“We're warm weather, outside dining only,” owner
and chef Bob Halaas says. “There's covered
seating, but there's no solid walls, so that's
definitely what makes it different.”
The menu has Halaas-original recipes from
sandwiches to fresh seafood to cocktails —
casual American food with flair, Halaas calls
“As far as the menu offerings that we have,
there's some unique stuff on there as well,”
Halaas says. “I tried to go with big bold, kind
of sassy, salty, savory, sweet flavors that pair
well with craft beer, and then the beers, I put
a lot of time and study into that as well to try
to bring in not only the best that Michigan has
to offer, but I tried to do some national stuff
and even some world stuff that maybe people
haven't had a chance to experience.”
And of course, a Beatles-inspired restaurant is
not complete without music. The Octopus’ Garden
has live entertainment booked through the end of
the season for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and
Thursdays, as well as a few weekend events on
Mike's on the Water, St. Clair Shores
Going into its twelfth season of business,
Mike’s on the Water is full of character with
its walls smothered in memorabilia. This cozy
restaurant off of Lake St. Clair is known for
its East Coast-inspired seafood, burgers, and
signature lobster rolls.
The restaurant is open seasonally, from the end
of March through October.
Owner Mike LeFevre turned the former bathhouse
building into a restaurant in 2011 and has
expanded it every year since its opening. What
started out as a 150-seater restaurant grew to
seat more than 350 people with a patio, family
room, outside deck, and upstairs lookout.
“The restaurant also has about 26 boat wells to
handle about up to 50 some feet,” LeFevre says.
“They are marked in blue. That's part of the
aura of the restaurant — come off the water,
dock your boat, come in for a nice meal, cold
beer and a burger, and off you go.”
The rooftop lookout opened as a bar with drinks
only, and after multiple attempts to get food
from the downstairs kitchen to the top deck,
LeFevre decided to try something else.
“It made a lot of sense to put a kitchen up
there, but I made it more quirky,” LeFevre says.
“I did a food truck because I always wanted to
do a food truck somewhere, somehow and I did it
on top of the roof.”