McGowan’s Menu: Epoufette Bayview Inn

This little restaurant’s history dates back to the early 1950’s, a one of a kind spot with an incredible view of Lake Michigan.

The current owners took over more than ten years ago.

It’s called the Bayview Inn, in the tiny Upper Peninsula community of Epoufette, right on US-2.

That’s where John McGowan journeyed for this week’s edition of McGowan’s Menu.

“Onion is the spice of life.”

But they believe it’s the food that will bring them back. It was certainly a busy lunch time on the day of our visit.

“It’s a friendly, cozy place, ya know family operated, we just try to be good to our customers. And have ’em return for us, and give ’em good, quality food.”

Cheryl, originally from Florida, first worked here in 1988 as a waitress, when her husband’s job at a salvage company ended, and the restaurant became available, Cheryl wanted it.

“You know, kinda out of my roam, but ya know, her dreams are my dreams. If mom ain’t happy then nobody’s happy.”

Harry has since turned into quite the cook, and stresses what he and Cheryl feel is most important.

“All our stuff is homemade, our soups are homemade, the salad bar’s homemade, all our meats are cut in house. I have girls that come in and all that’s all they work on is my salad bar. My pasties are made in house. They’re all fresh, so everything we do here is in house. We’re all homemade, we’re not fast, or Speedy Gonzalez, but we’re good,” explained Harry. 

It was harry’s idea to build the deck so diners could enjoy the view, and there’s binoculars at indoor tables for customers inside who’d like to use them. 

“At first, I was kind of against it, but I’m glad we did it because so many people come out here and enjoy it. And they love the view, they call it the million dollar view. Even in the winter, we keep it cleared off, and they like to come out here and take pictures, and look over the edge of the railing,” said Cheryl. 

“I got the nice filet right there.” As you might expect, the whitefish is a star of the bay view inn menu.

“I usually season it up with a little lemon-pepper, paprika, and I top it off with a little bit of parsley flake on top is nice. I do a steam broil that keeps the fish nice and moist, you know, nice and juicy. You bite into it, it’s not all dried out. Like if you oven cook them they get all dried out. So I do a range top broil, and that seems to work pretty good,” Harry said. 

Cheryl describes another extremely popular dinner choice. It begins with two chicken breasts.

“Our grilled chicken, was something that we did, and that is really popular here. We do it with grilled onions, and mushrooms, and then we cover it with cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese blend. And so it’s kind of like a smothered chicken dinner, but it’s not as bad for you as a breaded one.”

Harry wants your visit to include several things you’ll remember, the food, the view, and the friendly service.

“I think we’re just trying to generate a family oriented, friendly place, a place people can take their families to without having to take out that American Express card. Where you can afford to go out and eat without going bankrupt. I think Michigan’s suffered enough.”

The Bayview Inn is located 28 miles west of St. Ignace on US-2 in Epoufette, they’re open seven days a week, 7:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.