A young ambitious couple relocated to Escanaba over 4 years ago with dreams of growing their family and becoming entrepreneurs. The couple realize the great potential for the area, especially an area overlooking Little Bay de Noc, formally known as the Terrace Dance hall, which was built by the Pouliot family in 1962 which eventually became the 61 room Terrace Bay Inn & Suites.
In June of 2016, the property was purchased by Jennifer & Jarred Drown and re-branded the Terrace Bay Hotel. With over 15 years of combined experience in the hotel and hospitality industry, the couple moved to the area from Washington, DC in 2012 when they purchased the Sunset Lodge in Escanaba. Jarred is a board member of the Upper Peninsula Travel and Recreation Association (UPTRA), president of the Bays de Noc Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the couple are also active members of Grace Church with their three children.
Since the purchase in June the couple have already initiated some of the many anticipated improvements to the Hotel property; such as upgrading the bedding and implementing an efficient online reservation software. One of the more significant improvements has been to their waterfront dining room.
Formerly known as the Surf Room, the restaurant has been given it’s own identity with the new name, Freshwater Tavern. In hopes to increase restaurant business, the Drown’s have begun with a complete renovation of the restaurant which will feature new ceilings, floors, walls, tables, and of course a new menu. To develop the new restaurant menu, the Drown’s have recruited executive chef, Ken Coates.
Chef Ken’s love for cooking began as a young teen cooking with his grandmother and has remained with him throughout over 30 years in the food industry. Ken has worked in positions around the country, ranging from local restaurant chef to corporate chef in research and development for food manufacturing.
“I am looking forward to creating a year round destination point at the Freshwater Tavern through a fun atmosphere and excellent comfort food with a twist.” says Chef Ken.
Guests are invited to try the new nightly specials and give their input on which will be featured on the new menu. the complete new menu is expected to be released in the coming months.
“We are excited for the new menu chef Ken is putting together for us,” said owner, Jarred Drown.
In addition to an updated menu, the restaurant's bar will also be equipped with a new 12 tap system, serving local and regional craft beer.
Although restaurant renovations are underway, the dining room will be open Tuesday thru Saturday from 5-9pm. “We invite everyone to stop in and check out our progress and try out some of our amazing specials and enjoy a nice meal overlooking the bay.” said owner, Jennifer Drown. The team plans to officially unveil the restaurant with a grand opening and ribbon cutting in January.