Inside The Kitchen at Dam Site Inn in Pellston

“This is our this is what we’re famous for, it’s our pan fried chicken, which we cooked to order,” said the owner of Dam Site Inn, Steven Brinks.

The recipe for this chicken has been around for nearly seven decades, and hasn’t changed one bit, as Dam Site Inn is celebrates its 69th season.

“Because people like to come here and they expect one thing or another, and the one thing about this place is it’s always the same, here they always know what they’re going to get and it’s kind of the magic of the place,” he said.

Steven has witnessed that magic for the last 16 years.

He owns the restaurant now with his wife Olivia, but he started working here when he was just a teenager.

Olivia has been around the restaurant for even longer.

Her parents, Patricia and Ray East, were the last owners of Dam Site Inn, for about 30 years.

“We lived upstairs, they ran around this dining room, they knew everything from the start,” said Patricia.

They bought it from Patricia’s parents.

“Part of it is because we’re a super close knit family, we do everything together as a family, we always made it a priority to sit and have dinner every sDamingle night,” said Patricia.

That’s the same experience they’re giving other families, often coming back to eat at the same table, in the same furniture here since the 1950’s.

“We have a lot of older customers come in and they’ll say, you know, I just love the Coral Room,” said Steven.

With plenty more decades worth of stories to share, and generations to pass the beloved torch to.

“This year we had my daughter, my oldest daughter, Claire. She had been out there hostessing for us,” said Steven.

“The one in her kindergarten, ‘what are you going to be when you’re older?’ And she said, ‘the boss, I’m going to own the damn site,’” said Patricia. “So it’s going on in another generation, I’m sure of it.”

You can find Dam Site Inn at 6507 Woodland Road in Pellston, or call them at 231-539-8851.

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Categories: Inside the Kitchen