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Apache Trout Grill

IT WAS SATURDAY LATE IN THE AFTERNOON, Nancy and I had just finished previewing a couple homes for clients over by the college when a jolt of unbridled energy came over us. It was clearly a signal for an afternoon libation or, at least, we took it as that. The Apache Trout Grill on M-22 near Greilickville became our venue of choice.

It had been a perennial hangout for me during the turn of the century when I would make my way to Traverse City from Leland. Technically, the restaurant is located within the southern boundaries of Leelanau County, though it feels as though it is an extension of the city as most refer to it as a Traverse City spot.

The refurbished bar now has a dozen bar chairs that look out over the water. The view adds a couple extra dollars to the beverage pricing, I suspect mostly to help pay the mortgage. But, darn it, you get what you pay for, as the saying goes, and water views of the bay are some of the best.

As we would come to learn, Fred and Rhett, the weekend bartenders, featured their fine-tuned and practiced art and helped make our hour-long visit most enjoyable.

The whitefish pate was out of this world and the Bowers Harbor Pinot Gris was excellent - they were the perfect complement to one another. I was introduced to a rye-whiskey Manhattan with a cherry. As one who has experience in such libations, it became a sipper’s paradise, worth slowing down just a little to fully appreciate its mesmerizing effect.

We really enjoyed the harmonious voice of Rhett, who happily joined with Don McLean's 1971 tune, American Pie, their confluence filled the air.

Bye, bye Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singin' this'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die…

Just writing about this happy scene makes me want to return.

I trust that Apache Joe seated at the end of the bar made his midnight flight to Vegas. Yes, even OSU grads are welcome at the Apache Trout Grill.

Thank you for the memories.

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