If you find yourself in Alpena looking for a good meal, then skip the drive-ins and forget the chain restaurants. Head instead to 2024 US 23 South, home of the Court Yard Restaurant and the Old Roost Lounge, widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Northern Michigan.
A family-friendly Alpena institution since the early 80s, the Court Yard Restaurant (sometimes spelled Ristorante) serves up an eclectic mix of comfort foods like pizza and burgers along with more exquisite fare, such as filet mignon and feta bruschetta. Their pizza and seafood dishes are particularly famous, but no matter how fancy the food, the atmosphere is always welcoming and comfortable.
In a world of greasy fast food joints, the Court Yard Restaurant towers above the competition with a devotion to the freshness and quality of their food. Almost everything is made fresh in-house, and the care and attention to detail that goes into the food and the customer service sets them apart from other restaurants. They have their own garden where all their vegetables are grown, so when they say the food is fresh, they really mean fresh.
Chris and Lora Bauer-Carlson, the new owners since 2009, have set the bar high. They took on the philosophy of the former owner and upped the ante, dedicating their lives to the production of delicious meals for hungry Northern Michiganders. Their menu is palate-pleasing and creative, and specials change daily.
In addition to great food, fine wines and cocktails, The Court Yard Restaurant and Old Roost Lounge serve up great entertainment with live music every Thursday night. If there is a better way of spending a chilly Michigan winter’s evening than hanging out with friends in a warm, cozy restaurant with good food, good drink, and good music then I don’t know what it is. Alpena locals agree – they know the best of what their hometown has to offer, and they flock to the restaurant and lounge, where a warm family welcome awaits regulars and newcomers alike.
The Court Yard is cozy and just a little bit rustic as befits its Northern location. It is the perfect place to gather together with family and friends, and both they take both reservations and walk-ins. Bookings for large group events are also available, and they even offer takeaway items so that you can enjoy the tasty food from the comfort of your own home.
By Sarah Blodgett, Feature Writer.