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August 20, 2012

A Vintage Diner Experience – The West Bay Diner in Grand Marais, MI

By RetroRuth

Tom and I just got back from a super-whirlwind trip to Wisconsin and Michigan’s UP.  It was really, really fun, but also really tiring! Luckily, we had lots of fun stuff and good food to keep us going during our crazy-long driving sections.

Speaking of good food, check out this awesome vintage diner we stopped at in Grand Marais, MI. It is the West Bay Diner, and it is right near an lovely calm beach and the adorable town of Grand Marais.

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We got there right as the place opened, and so we were able to grab one of the few seats in the diner side of the restaurant. Apparently the diner half of the restaurant was moved out to Grand Marais from New York! Most of the diner is taken up with a large lunch counter and some ice cream freezers. The rest of the seating is in the back building half, and consists of about 8-10 vintage dinette sets surrounded by lots of kitsch on the walls.

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Here I am in an aqua corner both, sans make-up. And very hungry!

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We’ve heard from several sources that this place can be a little crazy during certain times. Not only crazy-busy, but the owner is a bit eccentric and so sometimes things don’t go exactly as you would expect things would go in a restaurant. This was no exception on our visit. When we sat down at our table our waitress, who was very nice, let us know that about half of the menu wasn’t being served that day. But we had come in expecting weird quirks like this, and so we weren’t upset. 

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Besides, how can you be upset when this is the view?  It was a lovely, lovely little diner up in the front.

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We ended up getting plenty of delicious food. Even though they didn’t have their famous pizza, fish, or pasty (pass-tee) that day, Tom was still able to get a buffalo burger and I got a grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread with coleslaw.  It was amazing. And we also got an enormous shake to share.  When I first looked at the prices of shakes, I was shocked because they were $6, which is a little high for the UP. Then I figured out that their shakes were 30 ounces!! That’s a lot of shake. One was more than enough for our table and it was really, really good! We also got a chocolate chip Heath cookie from their incredible baked goods selection. It was so good I cried a little while I was eating it.

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So, if you ever happen to be driving on the very Northern edge of the UP (like THAT is ever going to happen) or if you are planning to visit Pictured Rocks, be sure to stop in at West Bay Diner for some fun vintage eats. Or at least have some dessert. Oh, and bring me back a cookie, will you? I’m dying over here!

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8 Responses to A Vintage Diner Experience – The West Bay Diner in Grand Marais, MI

  1. Mary Reply

    August 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

    What a cute little place! Love the turquoise/aqua seating and the tile floor and accents. Food sounds like it was tasty. Funny how the sign says “no coke” “no pepsi” sort of reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live. PS (What does Michigan UP mean?)….

    • RetroRuth Reply

      August 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

      The “No Coke, No Pepsi” thing was actually pretty funny! The whole restaurant had vintage RC Cola advertising in it. I loved it!

      UP stands for the “Upper Penninsula” of Michigan. You know, the part above the mitten? :)

      • Mary Reply

        August 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        Retro Ruth,
        I am embarrassed to say, I didn’t know that either, I thought it was a college! I learned something new today. Anything using the word “mitten” is too cute.

        Thanks for posting the fun pictures.

  2. Andrea Reply

    August 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    What a cute looking diner!

  3. wendyvee Reply

    August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Wow. The West Bay is gorgeous! It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the UP … but this is definitely going on my “to do” list.

    It’s funny too see your husband in a photo where he doesn’t look the least bit afraid of what he might be about to eat :) :) And I can’t tell you how jealous I am of your photo — I wish that I looked even half as fabulous as you without make-up.

  4. Sara In AZ Reply

    August 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    That place looks adorable, and the food looks super good too! If we are ever in the UP :) we will be sure to stop by!

  5. Sherree Reply

    August 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Looks like fun :-)
    Don’t you love having a guy that is a foodie?
    My Hubby will eat anywhere and try anything. That makes it much more fun to travel.
    And that shake looks really good.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Barbara Walters Reply

    September 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I worked in this Diner when it was MATAMORAS DINER,, in Matamoras, PA. It was owned by June & Tony Dedea. It was formerly owned by June’s Uncle. I was 13 years old and used to open it at 6am and work till 3PM on weekends and all summer. No working papers needed then. There was an opening behind the stools to our kitchen / back room and dining room. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES !

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