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All 7 Empire Restaurants

Joe's Friendly Tavern

11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
+1 231-326-5506
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Ranked #2 of 7 Restaurants in Empire
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hours:
Sun - Thu 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details
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131 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    56
    53
    17
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Frisco, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

This tavern is a nice restaurant in Empire and if you love root beer, this is your place. They serve root beer right off the tap and it's great! Their burgers and sandwiches are also very good. Be sure to visit Joe's if you're in Empire.

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for telling the folks in the Trip Advisor community about your experience at Joe's Friendly Tavern. We are glad you enjoyed our Root Beer (it is good, isn't it). We now have it available in bottles and are working on making it available for shipping through our on line store. Thank you again for visiting Joe's, we look... More

Columbus, Ohio
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

This place is the greatest! All the employees and customers seem glad to be there. It is a cozy, not fancy neighborhood type place with a long bar and old style wooden walls. The best hamburgers ever but have sandwiches and fried fish, etc. on the menu. They have a couple of game machines to entertain the kids. Like the... More

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. It's nice to be appreciated for what we are, a friendly neighborhood place with "up north" ambiance & tasty, fresh food. And yes.....we really are glad to be there and we look forward to seeing you again. More

algonquin il
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

The waitress recommended their burgers. My husband and I split a buffalo onion burger and a bowl of tomato soup with bacon and blue cheese. The soup was especially great. I hope to try to duplicate it at home. Friendly staff.

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thanks for mentioning our soups. They kind of get overshadowed by our Burgers (which we grind ourselves, fresh daily). Our soups are also homemade and we have two new choices each day in addition to our own Joe's Friendly Tavern Chili. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Joe's with the TA community. We hope we... More

Baltimore, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

We were happily surprised by Joe's. The staff were all great and the food was excellent. My husband had the County Fair Burger, said it was one of the best burgers he has ever had.

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and thank you for dinning at Joe's. The burgers you enjoyed are one of signature offerings. We grind the burger ourselves daily, right here on the premises. Again, thanks for sharing your experience with us. We hope to see you again. More

Carmel, IN
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

Went to Joe's tonight as I have many times. Thought I should take a moment to share. I ordered a burger medium rare with a sunny side up egg - and onion. I love to cook and do it fairly well but I think a perfect egg is difficult. Not only was my egg perfect but my burger was cooked... More

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for you enthusiastic review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We are glad you enjoyed the food and service we offer. We hope we get the chance to serve you again. More

1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Dont't order the special of the day. It was prime rib on a Friday. It came cold and bloody. We sent it back to the kitchen. Waitress was not nice. It came back a little less raw, thin and fatty. Waitress refused any substitutions for the squash which my husband does not like. For 14.99 it was not worth it.... More

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We do want to deliver a quality dinning experience to all our customers and we find all reviews valuable, the good and the bad. We are sorry you and your guests had a bad experience at Joe's. I surmised from the email you sent us that... More

Lansing, Michigan
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Stumbled upon Joe's as we headed to the dunes - wonderful surprise! Great menu and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We started with a generous order of fried smelt that were fresh and tasty. Good balance between the breaded and the fish... Excellent tartar sauce came with. We both had burgers, my partner had the Joe (wasn't thrilled with... More

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting our area and thank you for the kind review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. Glad to hear that Annie took good care of you, I will pass the word along to her. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again. More

Frederick, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2014

We wondered into this dark bar atmosphere and were promptly greeted and served. The food was good but the menu was on the small side. We had a few local beers and a homemade veggie patty with cherries in it. Surprisingly yummy!

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for sharing your experience at Joe's Friendly Tavern. Dingy...yes a little, I suppose. We are very conscientious of food safety and we keep it clean but it's an tired old WWII era building that resistant to taking a "shine". We are glad you enjoyed our food. Our summer menu is more exstensive than the menu you saw. Due... More

Detroit, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

Don't get me wrong, they do go through a lot of trouble to make a burger, but in the Detroit Metro area, there are so many more burgers better than this one. For a remote up north area, it probably is a good burger to the locals, but for the people downstate that has so many options for good burgers,... More

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. You are correct that the Detroit metro area has many wonderful dining options. The owner of Joe's and his wife both hail from Detroit and my wife and I are from Ann Arbor, we are familiar with the many outstanding establishments in your area. So if... More

Roscoe, Illinois
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

Burgers were as advertised, perfectly cooked and delicious. Enjoyed talking to the bartender while waiting for my food... Just a few beers on tap, but good Michigan beer choices.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Glad to hear that you enjoyed chatting with our bartender and that you enjoyed our burgers. I guess you could say they are our flagship dish. Thank you, we hope to get the opportunity to serve you again. More

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Additional Information about Joe's Friendly Tavern

Address: 11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
Phone Number: +1 231-326-5506
Location: United States  >  Michigan (MI)  >  Leelanau County  >  Empire
Open Hours:
Sunday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Monday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Cuisine: American

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