Restaurants Ready for Hungry Hunters - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Restaurants Ready for Hungry Hunters

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In just a few hours, hunters will take to their blinds, and they won't be the only ones up and at 'em as the sun rises.

Restaurants across northern Michigan have been preparing all week for the herds of hunters they'll serve on opening day.

Tucked right in part of the Manistee National Forest, hunters have already converged on the small town of Wellston.

It's a welcome sight, especially for restaurants, who say opening day is a highly anticipated event.

"We've been preparing for the season, we're opening at 5 in the morning for the deer hunters breakfast and we're expecting good crowds," explained Fred Christians, the co-owner of the Stockade Restaurant.

From sunrise...

"As long as they're coming in, we'll stay open," says Carla Brigham, the manager of the Lumberjack Lodge and Restaurant.

To sunset... the Stockade Restaurant and Lumberjack Lodge and Restaurant anticipate having lots of hungry hunters to feed.

"In fact, we had a couple groups of hunters last year who came in for the food morning, noon, and night!" proclaimed Christians.

"Usually about 7 o'clock we get slammed, it's been picking up all week, very busy at night," said Brigham.

The town is typically quiet, the noise from dozens of diners is welcome.

"It means everything, it means a lot, we need weekends like this, weeks like this," said Christians.

All those meals to serve up certainly help their sales soar.

"Probably 50 percent, maybe double," guessed Christians. 

"It's probably triple business, doubled, tripled, yeah," agreed Brigham.

They know the next few days will be consistently busy.

It's all worth it for the orange army.

"The more the better, we're ready!"

Both restaurants said they have hearty meals lined up, to keep the hunters full throughout the day.