When I first heard about the Wrought Iron Grill, I was told it was unlike anything I would expect. From the outside, the Wrought Iron Grill looks like nothing more than a non-assuming, brick factory. And that’s exactly what used to occupy the space that has now become a mecca to grilled cuisine, microbrewed beers and Michigan history.
In 1902, Lyman Woodard built a new factory in Owosso and Woodard’s furniture has been an essential part of the small town ever since. But why am I telling you about furniture? Simply because the Wrought Iron Grill is steeped in the history of the factory.
“The furniture company was a huge part of Owosso,” John Lowman, owner and general manager of the Wrought Iron Grill said. “Many generations of Owosso residents have worked here or had family that worked here.”
Now, on what was once the welding room floor, you can find people enjoying artisan grill and taking in the stylish atmosphere Lowman has created.
“We tried to maintain the identity with the furniture factory and use a lot of what the building left for us,” Lowman said. “The decor in here is very modest, as my thoughts were that the building is the star of the show.”
Remnants of the original factory, including boiler room doors on the back bar, 110-year-old windows and frames that have been incorporated into the restaurant and reclaimed wood beams that now make up the facade of the bar, all serve to give a taste of Michigan history and Michigan food.
Railroad rails were found buried on the property, dug up, and are now the foot rails at the bar. The outside dining area was once the factory’s loading dock and is still referred to as such.
Lowman makes it a point that his menu is made up of fresh and local foods whenever possible. They serve perch and whitefish all from the Great Lakes and all of their steaks are local.
The seafood risotto is one of their most popular items, consisting of lobster, scallops and shrimp. But, Lowman said his favorite dish is their bleu cheese encrusted lamb chops.
They have eight beer taps and over forty bottled beers. When they first started out, four of those taps were dedicated to microbrewed beer. Due to the popularity in microbrews, they dropped all of the mainstream beers and only carry microbrews. Lowman says that 98 percent of the time, his taps are all Michigan microbrews.
So, next time you’re in Owosso and looking for something a little different, check out the Wrought Iron Grill. They have monthly wine and beer appreciation nights, which include food pairings. They also often have live entertainment on the loading dock.
~Jeremy Beyma, Feature Writer