A New Taste Of Frankenmuth: Bavarian Inn unveils new bar

April 28, 2014
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The Bavarian Inn Restaurant, home of the world-famous Frankenmuth-style chicken dinner, turned the old Roof Garten into a casual, contemporary dining space featuring all things Michigan: Michigan-sourced food, Michigan craft-brewed beer, Michigan wines and Michigan cocktails. Construction began Monday, Feb. 17 with the ribbon-cutting unveiling occurred April 8 (it’s the first major renovation here “since the Reagan administration“). Bill Zehnder, President and owner, explained that the space would be fully renovated with a new bar, tables, color scheme and flooring that showcases a look that is “still European but includes Michigan-inspired contemporary décor.”

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Photo courtesy of Bavarian Inn Restaurant’s Facebook page.

Bill Zehnder’s intent to “… create a unique place that emphasizes the tasty Michigan-sourced food that [our] guests have come to enjoy in our traditional dining rooms and … provide them with a different option for their ‘second meal’ in Frankenmuth” also presented an opportunity to take advantage of the growing trend for homegrown products. The newly dubbed Michigan on Main Bar and Grill will offer customers a menu that focuses on Michigan-sourced and seasonal food. For about $6 to $20, menu items will include the Maize & Blue salad, described as artisanal greens tossed with seasonal vinaigrette, dried Michigan cranberries, apples, house-made granola and blue cheese; the Michigan Ale-Brat, a foot-long house-made bratwurst served on a pretzel bun with mustard ale dipping sauce; Michigan Medallions, which are grilled pork, Michigan apples and caramelized onion lightly glazed with a beer-infused mustard sauce, finished with crispy smoked bacon; and Great Lakes fish tacos with corn and black bean salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, pickled red onions and verde sauce.

The bar, made in Frankenmuth with stones from the Upper Penninsula, will advertise Michigan craft-brewed beer, Michigan wine and Michigan cocktails, such as a Michiganrita featuring Hopquila, a Tequila made from Michigan-grown hops. “We have our apples out of southern Michigan, potatoes out of Posen, pork sourced from Frankentrost, trout offered up for Lake Huron, navy beans from the Saginaw Valley, and cheese from Pinconning” Michigan on Main executive chef, Phil Fahrenbruch, told ABC 12. Bill Chapman, bar division manager also explained, “There are 140 breweries in Michigan at this time, so we have a selection to last us for years.”

Despite all the trendy and modernizing changes happening at the Michigan on Main Bar and Grill, there will be no need to mourn the classic lure of the original establishment.  The renovation only affected the Roof Garten portion of the Bavarian Inn and that the remainder of the building continues to serve its famous Frankenmuth chicken dinners.