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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: Dinner, Lunch

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 170 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 75
    Excellent
  • 65
    Very good
  • 23
    Average
  • 5
    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
Very good pizza

This place was a real find - entirely by accident while passing. It seems to have a bit of an identity crisis, being either Empire Village Inn or Joe's FT, with the signage emphasis on Pizza and Spirits. How was it? Overall it looks quite unprepossessing, but appearances can be deceptive. Service... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 23, 2015
Driver_in_Europe
,
Crewe, United Kingdom
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170 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
172 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2015 NEW

OK, that title may be a little strong but we have eaten there 2 times and have had a great meal each time. They have a good bar, ample, but expensive sandwiches that are delicious. All 6 of us enjoyed the meal. The service is fine for that area. The burgers are especially good. Add to that that there are... More 

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
108 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

The name is apt. Very friendly local tavern, verry good food and excellent service. Soups are excellent. Good beer selection.

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

Thank you for sharing your experience at Joe's Friendly Tavern. We hope you visit our area (and us) again. More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

Being a vegetarian on a road trip can be hard, but Joe's Friendly tavern has an interesting item called vegetarian cake, it is like a veggie burger, but made from rolled oats, hummus, dried cherries and veggies. I had it topped with grilled onions and cheese and it was so yummy I came back the next day for another one.... More 

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

Even though we are mostly known for our fresh ground burgers, Joe's does offer a little something for everyone. Thanks for telling the TA community about our veggie cakes. We hope you visit us again, thank you. More 

Macomb, Michigan
Level Contributor
154 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015 NEW

We came to Joe's for a quick meal after a busy day. There were a lot of options on the menu, typical American fare, but they were WAY over priced. Almost $14 for a BLT.... Although the food was good, it wasn't nearly good enough to be so expensive. The staff was friendly, and despite the prices it was fairly... More 

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

Thank you for your review, we really do want to know what our customers are thinking. I would like to mention to the TA community that our BLT, with choice of a side (a very generous portion) is priced at $10. Our Spicy BLT, however, does cost $14 with side....But this is another animal altogether. For this zesty cousin of... More 

Traverse City, Michigan
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015

We summer in the Empire area and have been loyal fans of Joe's for many many years. We were excited to return and walked in, sat down and started to look at the menu....and were shocked, saddened and dismayed to find the prices had been JACKED UP to tourist trap prices. We walked out. And we are sad. Joe's has... More 

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

Thank you for bringing up our price change. First of all, I want to assure you that we are not trying to gouge anyone. We follow pricing guidelines set up by the Restaurant Association and I think, if you looked around, you would find our prices are pretty much in line with everyone else in the area. Yes we have... More 

Chatham, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015

Great wait staff and very good food and menu. Short distance from Empire village park beach. Known for their burgers.

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

Thank you for giving Joe's a great shout out, we appreciate it. Our burgers are our most popular dish but we also have a great selection of sandwiches, homemade soups and salads, plus nightly dinner specials, featuring fresh local ingredients. ....and don't forget to save your receipt from the Empire beach parking machine and Joe's will knock that amount off... More 

Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
48 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2015

We have been twice in three years for dinner and really like this restaurant. The burgers are delicious and the service is friendly and warm. Root beer on draft! Also adult beverages available. Go for dinner and then walk to the park to see the sunset. Reasonably priced. Enjoy!

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

Thank you for telling the TA community about Joe's Friendly Tavern. The walk to the beach is great but if you choose to drive to the beach, remember to keep your receipt from the Empire beach parking machine. If you bring that in with you JOe's will knock the price of your parking off your bill. We look forward to... More 

Crewe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015

This place was a real find - entirely by accident while passing. It seems to have a bit of an identity crisis, being either Empire Village Inn or Joe's FT, with the signage emphasis on Pizza and Spirits. How was it? Overall it looks quite unprepossessing, but appearances can be deceptive. Service was good, the choice of drinks was excellent,... More 

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

Thank you for your kind review. Let me help clear the JOe's vs. Village Inn confusion. You had pizza so you were in the Village Inn on M22. Joe's is located a few blocks away in the center of Empire. The Village Inn does share a building with Gemma's coffee shop, thus the confusion with the two names. Anyway, thank... More 

New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
288 reviews
235 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2015

We arrived at 11.40am on a Sunday morning and being from New Orleans, expected a beer. There was no lunch or beer served until noon and the waitress could not explain what the beers were like as she was "under 21". We sat and waited. At the stroke of noon we ordered and then I got the wrong beer. We... More 

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

We are sorry about your disappointing experience at Joe's. In Michigan you cannot sell alcohol before noon on Sunday without a special permit. We do not have this permit. Yes, many of our servers are under 21. We have a primarily college student waitstaff in the summer and for some, this is their fist job. They may lack some experience... More 

Champaign, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2015

I had the fish sandwich and Tequila Sunrise. Both were very good There was a line for the one bathroom. I just wish they had better options for sides.

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

Thank you for sharing your experience at Joe's. We do have a few more sides to choose from with our nightly dinner specials. Things such as roasted asparagus & roasted heirloom carrots....depends on what is in season. Thank you again, we hope you visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 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?