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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
Cuisines: American
6 visitor photos
Restaurant details
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109 reviews from our community

83% Recommend
    43
    48
    14
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

We stopped here for a late lunch. I think they specialize in different kinds of burgers, and we each had a different kind. Mine was the Baja burger and it was wonderful. Everyone else loved theirs too. The decor includes wood paneling and the place really does have a warm friendly feel to it. The juke box is fun. Our... More

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Grand Rapids, MI
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014 NEW

We finally stopped in to Joe's Friendly Tavern in Empire - it was busy (we got there right around lunchtime on a Thursday) but we managed to get seated right away. The food was good, as was the service. I got the wedge salad which came with a generous portion of house made bleu cheese dressing which was amazing, and... More

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Maine
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

Busy but manager (owner) is fun and cooperative. Seated our group of 15 within 15 minutes at one table. Great burger's..grilled walleyes..salads..home made root beer.Loud but friendly.

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

We are, after all, the Friendly Tavern. Thanks for telling people about us. Hope you visit our area again. More

Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

They were very accommodating to our group of 13. Kids at one table and adults at another worked well. Some portion are enormous...be ready to take leftovers!! My kids LOVED the draft root beer.

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

We're glad you had a good time at Joe's Friendly Tavern. Yes, people do seem to enjoy Joe's draft root beer, we now have it in bottles so you can take some Joe's home with you. Thank you for sharing your experience at Joe's we hope we get a chance to serve you again. More

Danville, Illinois
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

Busy place and the food was excellent. After eating at too many high priced places in the 20 mile area, this was the best value spot. Nothing fancy, but great food!

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

Thank you for your positive review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. It is true, while we do lack the fancy decor found in some of the areas restaurants we do offer quality, well prepared food at a reasonable price. We are happy you enjoyed your experience and we look forward to serving you again. More

Granger, Indiana
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

My friends and I were road-trippin around Michigan and randomly got hungry around Empire. On a whim we stopped in Joe's and were completely blown away by the customer service and AMAZING burgers. Would recommend to anyone who is nearby and looking for quality food.

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

Glad you got hungry around Empire and were able to sample our award winning burgers. We grind the burger ourselves fresh daily from the highest quality chuck. Thank you for telling people about Joe's. More

Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

The kids like getting a frisbee with the meal-good entertainment for the beach. The restaurant brand of Root Beer isn't anything special. We didn't have any complaints of food. Good burgers.

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

Yes, the frisbees have been a big hit this summer with the kids, big and little. Glad you enjoyed our burger, it is one of our feature menu items. Thank you for reviewing us, we look forward to serving you again. More

Inverness, Illinois
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

Joe's offers good home cooking. Service was very good. We had a B.M.A.T which was excellent on great whole wheat bread and burgers. While the burgers were supposed to be a specialty, the three who ordered them did not care for them. They thought they were tasteless and greasy. The fried smelt was also good. The local made sodas were... 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. We find these very valuable to improving our food and service. The BLAT sandwich that you had is new to our menu and has been well received.....think it's a keeper. More

Monticello, IN
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014 via mobile

We were in route to Northern Michigan and found ourselves stopping here for lunch. They were over the top busy but the wait staff and kitchen was just rocking it! Fast friendly service but yet they weren't just trying to get you out the door to turn tables faster. We shared the nachos and had plenty. We sat near the... More

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

Thank you for your positive review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. I'm glad you got to catch us when we we're "rocking it".We actually have fun when it gets like that. More

Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Joe's Friendly Tavern is busy for a reason; they have really good food. I ordered the hamburger as a takeout and had to wait awhile. I drank some of their home made brewed tea while waiting and than and ate the delicious hamburger on the banks of South Bar Lake. The menu here is quite diverse and they have a... More

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

Thank you for not letting our large (for us it's large...Empire has a winter population of around 400) summer crowds scare you away from trying one of our "ground fresh daily" burgers. Our Burgers have won many awards and they are a signature dish here at Joe's. We hope to see you again. More

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