Charlevoix Main Street (CMS) sat down with owner of Smoke on the Water
, Julie Mann, to talk about what makes this adorable eatery such a unique destination located at 103 Park Avenue
in downtown Charlevoix.
Smoke on the Water
is now open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch. They now serve dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Options change weekly, so check their Facebook page
or call the restaurant by dialing 231-237-9604. They offer individual frozen dinners, lasagna, pot pies, and stuffed shells to name a few. They also have a refrigerated case that will soon have soups, sandwiches and salads to grab and go.
CMS: Tell me a little bit about your business.
Julie: We started out as primarily a breakfast and lunch place, but have expanded to offer baked goods, frozen meals, dinner Friday and Saturday nights, and offer grab and go items such as salads and sandwiches. We pride ourselves on making almost everything from scratch, offering a homey place to enjoy our food and a great staff who believes in giving great customer service.
CMS: How have you had to shift your business model in response to the pandemic?
Julie: Everyone wears masks. We supply hand sanitizer. After each guest leaves, we make sure everything on the table is sanitized thoroughly. We have a lot of outdoor dining when the weather permits and have bought heaters to extend seating to spring and fall.
CMS: Why did you want to be a small business owner?
Julie: I love being my own boss and I love providing a positive work environment for my employees.
CMS: Why did you choose to open a business downtown Charlevoix?
Julie: My husband is from Charlevoix. We always wanted to retire here, so when I had the option to work from home in Charlevoix we jumped on it. Two years later this restaurant was up for sale and we decided to take the plunge. I always wanted to open a restaurant, I just really didn't think it was possible.
CMS: What do you enjoy most about living and working in the Charlevoix area?
Julie: I grew up in St. Paul/Minneapolis and I love the slower pace of Charlevoix. When people complain about the summer traffic, I just laugh. But the most obvious reason I enjoy Charlevoix is the beauty of the area. We love boating, kayaking, and walking our dogs.
CMS: What is something unique about your restaurant?
Julie: Our restaurant is in what used to be a house and is the oldest building in Charlevoix.
CMS: How would you describe downtown Charlevoix?
Julie: Sleepy in the winter and bustling in the summer. If only more people realized how beautiful our winters are too.
CMS: What’s your favorite thing about your business?
Julie: Hands down, our customers. No matter if they come in a few days a week or just once, I get so much pleasure in seeing them enjoying our food.
CMS: What’s your favorite Charlevoix event?