New Owners Bringing Back Gaylord’s Big Buck Brewery and Craft Beer, Jobs With It

You may have already seen the sign or the giant bottle, but both signal a Northern Michigan staple is opening back up for business.

The Big Buck Brewery in Gaylord closed down more than a year ago but with new owners and a revamped vision, they plan on opening again this fall.

“We frequently vacation in this area, and have family in this area and gave us the opportunity to bring us back home,” New Owner Shawn Smalley, said.

While traveling north on I-75, The Big Buck Brewery is tough to miss.

Over the past several months it caught new owners Shawn and Cathy Smalley’s eye.

“It’s obviously a Gaylord icon and something you see when you come off I-75 so seeing it sit idle is really what sparked the interest, to get back into it and bring it back to the community,” Shawn, added.

The renovations have been ongoing, to maintain what people liked about the old place and transform it into something greater.

From brewing more than a dozen beers in house, to a brand new menu and kitchen it’s going to take quite a staff to keep this place going.

“We anticipate that we’ll need 35 to 40 people on any given night to run, so we have a significant amount of hiring to do,” Shawn, explained.

“They have occupancies of almost 300 so it automatically becomes, if not the biggest, one of the biggest restaurants in our community,” Gaylord City Manager Joe Duff, said.

For those in the community, the big buck being back is a blessing.

“The city couldn’t be more pleased to see our Big Buck Brewery re-opened. It truly was a destination, people did come from all over the straits area and northern lower Michigan to go to it,” Duff, added.

The business hopes to open their doors and make it a destination once again, within the first couple weeks of October.

105th District State Representative Triston Cole had this to say in regards to the Big Buck Brewery reopening.

” It is very exciting to have this landmark restaurant & brewery reopening in Gaylord. It is yet another indication of our growing Northern Michigan economy. Gaylord is the center of my house district and this is yet another reason for people from all around the state to stop in our community. Food establishments like this are also the reason I voted to preempt the ballot initiative regarding minimum wage so that I could “save the tip credit” for our waiters and waitresses around the State. This will be very important as the Big Buck Brewery reopens.”