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Inside The Kitchen at The Painted Lady Saloon in Manistee

The Painted Lady Saloon is the oldest operating saloon in Manistee.

“People from all over the place, ‘we love the Painted Lady, we love the Painted Lady,’” co-owner Susie Wolkens said people usually say.

Susie said one of dozens of draws is the broasted chicken.

“The chicken is marinated then draine,d and we dust it put it in our broaster and cook it to perfection, always good, delicious, juicy,” she said.

They also broast fish and pork chops…

And it’s one of the nine ways you can order your potatoes.

Once the timer goes off, the pressure also goes off, and co-owner Jeff Bladzik lifts the handle up.

“Here we have a beautiful golden brown chicken and potatoes,” Bladzik says.

Bob Venne can attest to the taste.

“It’s never greasy, it’s also tender and juicy, it’s the best way I’ve ever had chicken really,” he said.

Bob is Susie’s dad.

He also used to own the Painted Lady Saloon and sold it to Susie and Jeff about two years ago.

“It’s nice to keep it pretty much in the family,” Bob said.

“It is wonderful,” Susie said.

Colorful on the inside…

“There are things that have been here for a long time, my parents collected a bit but I think there were things here before they were here from the owners they bought it from,” she said.

And the outside.

“At that time they were painting all the Victorian houses here in town, they were calling them painted ladies,” said Bob.  “We bought it in 1994 and it was just a drinking establishment at that time.”

The Painted Lady Saloon has come a long way, now serving up homemade soup like Pepperjack Crab and Chicken Pot Pie soup, sandwiches and more.

The French Dip is perfectly toasted bread, juicy homemade prime rib, and so cheesy it sticks to the bun.

A lot has changed through the decades, especially considering the place was a saloon before prohibition, a drug store during prohibition, and back to a saloon right after prohibition.

But the quality has remained….

“The same as it was 30 years ago,” said Bob.

And it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

The Painted Lady Saloon is at 723 Kosciusko Street in Manistee, and they can be reached at 231-723-2487.

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