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Joe's Friendly Tavern

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11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
+1 231-326-5506
Website
Today
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 149 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 64
    Excellent
  • 59
    Very good
  • 20
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Great little place

We had a party of 16 for lunch. They were overly accommodating pushing tables together for our group. They offered to split checks. Our waitress was great. She had it down to a science. She took kids orders first then came back and took adults. She brought pictures for refills which was smart... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 4, 2015
missstaceyh
,
Bardstown, Kentucky
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149 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Bardstown, Kentucky
Level Contributor
86 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015 NEW

We had a party of 16 for lunch. They were overly accommodating pushing tables together for our group. They offered to split checks. Our waitress was great. She had it down to a science. She took kids orders first then came back and took adults. She brought pictures for refills which was smart with kids! Burgers were great. Many built... More 

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Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015 NEW

The service was really great and this is a good place for large groups. We go here at least once every summer vacation!

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

Thank you so much for making the Empire area an annual vacation destination and thank you for your continued support of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We're glad you like our food and service. See you again soon. More 

Spicewood, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015 NEW

We stopped for breakfast and came back for dinner. Loved it & wasn't thrilled with other options. Had an oatmeal pancake (only one) for breakfast and couldn't eat it all. Delicious and super filling. Husband had bacon and eggs and left happy. At dinner, I had scallops with barley risotto cakes and they were wonderful. Husband had walleye, and was... More 

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

Thank your coming all the way from the Lone Star State to visit The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and thank you for telling the Trip Advisor community about Joe's Friendly Tavern. We realize our prices are a little high but I assure you we are not gouging tourist. The cost of doing business in this somewhat remote, yet desirable... More 

Holland, Michigan
Level Contributor
109 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015 NEW

Joe's hasn't changed since I was a kid. The interior has the same wood paneling, same booths and same black vinyl chairs. Video games are also a blast from the past. I don't mind that, except that it doesn't appear to be very clean. The chairs were particularly dirty and scuffed. Staff is friendly, but not familiar with menu items... More 

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Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
63 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2015

Last summer (2014) we visited Joe's while in the Leelanau area and were super pleased with our experience. We went again to revisit and were quite disappointed with the experience. Let me explain...Last year we visited Joe's based on several good reviews from tripadvisor and other sites. And we had pretty good burgers at a pretty typical northern Michigan bar... More 

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

First, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to write a review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We find all reviews helpful, both the negative and the positive. As you can see from other reviews on this page, most people enjoy their experience and many find our prices reasonable. It is true, our prices have gone up, but perhaps... More 

Germany
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2015

As last year we went there for a lunch and again we got great burgers and drinks. Very good service. The prices are a little high but acceptable for the region. m.

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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 and thank you for realizing that our prices are not put in place to gouge tourist. We live somewhat off the beaten path (Traverse City is not serviced by a freeway or a rail system.) This raises our cost of operation....we do what we can do with what we have. As you have... More 

Copley, Ohio
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2015 via mobile

Good waffles .... Nice breakfast menu and the server was friendly. If you're in Empire start your day here!

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

Thank you for telling people about our breakfast. Joe's isn't just about the burgers, we have fantastic omelettes and skillet dishes. Joe's serves breakfast til 11am daily, noon on Sundays. Thank you again, we hope you re-visit us and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore soon. More 

Sidney, Ohio
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2015

I like the food a lot, but I think the cost is a little high. I think it is the best atmosphere in town to eat.

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

We are glad you enjoyed our food, much thanks. We apologize if our prices seem a bit high but I think you'll find we are pretty much in line with most other establishments in the area. Traverse City (our nearest town of size) is not serviced by a Free-Way & has limited rail service. This makes things, in general, cost... More 

Grand Traverse County, Michigan
2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2015

Almost walked out after reviewing the menu. Food is grossly over priced and not very good. Will never visit this place again.

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

We are sorry we have lost you as a customer but thank you for your review, we have found it helpful. Even though our menu is already displayed in the window we will attempt to make it more prominent. We hope we haven't discouraged you from visiting Empire, the village does offer other dinning options. Gemma's coffee shop and Tiffiany's... More 

Traverse City, Michigan
Level Contributor
116 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015

For a small town bar, this is more of a restaurant that serves beer! They make their own pastrami that could be sold in a NY deli. Their hamburgers are legendary and breakfast is steal. This winter, we were treated to their chili many times which was almost too much if you had it with a salad. You will enjoy... More 

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

Thank you for your generous review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We are trying to be more than a little town bar and we are happy that you recognize and appreciate our efforts. We look forward to 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, Pub

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
  • Location: United States  >  Michigan (MI)  >  Leelanau County  >  Empire
  • Phone Number: +1 231-326-5506

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: American, Pub
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

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Joe's Friendly Tavern staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?