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Little Bohemia

540 W Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684
+1 231-946-6925
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Ranked #10 of 257 Restaurants in Traverse City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $3 - $15
Hours:
Cuisines: Pub
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: LITTLE BOHEMIA, Traverse City's 2nd Oldest Tavern, was built as a hot dog stand in 1932, with Curb Side Service and outdoor seating, an annual ritual of making sauerkraut, and a Speak Easy in the basement. Folks would knock on the back door and go directly to the basement. One evening while closing up the owner was paid a visit by a couple of Al Capone’s men. They held him at gunpoint, warning him he’d better get his liquor from Capone or else! The men were chased off by an employee who was able to sneak out to his truck and get his shotgun; he surprised them; fortunately they never returned. Located in the heart of “Little Bohemia” as the area was known and being of Bohemian descent, the original owner named his business in honor of the Bohemian community that had settled on the west end of the city. Little Bohemia immediately became the gathering place on Saturday nights. At the end of prohibition, the building was expanded to include a tavern and its popularity continued to grow into a Traverse City landmark, now an icon and a premier destination in the city’s West End District. This traditional Michigan tavern has stood the test of time and still maintains its original name. Little Bohemia is blessed with fame in its own right, as the 2nd oldest tavern in Traverse City, but basks in the glory of the late Sir Walter Hagen. The golf legend, who settled on Long Lake after he retired, made a daily stop to “hold court” or play a few games of bumper pool and of course have a few drinks. Mr. Hagen lovingly referred to Little Bohemia as his “home away from home” and often spoke of it during his travels. In 1961, just as he walked off the course from his 1st British Open win, Arnold Palmer received a call from Walter Hagen; a call that was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. “The biggest thrill I got when I set a British Open record of 276 strokes at Troon, was to have Walter Hagen phone me from Little Bo’s in Traverse City to congratulate me,” said Palmer. “I didn’t even know The Haig knew I was alive until then. So when I went to Traverse City to honor him near the end of his life I had to go and visit this place he called his home.” The actual interview can be seen on YouTube; just search Arnold Palmer.Stop by for great home cooking and fast friendly service.
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: LITTLE BOHEMIA, Traverse City's 2nd Oldest Tavern, was built as a hot dog stand in 1932, with Curb Side Service and outdoor seating, an annual ritual of making sauerkraut, and a Speak Easy in the basement. Folks would knock on the back door and go directly to the basement. One evening while closing up the owner was paid a visit by a couple of Al Capone’s men. They held him at gunpoint, warning him he’d better get his liquor from Capone or else! The men were chased off by an employee who was able to sneak out to his truck and get his shotgun; he surprised them; fortunately they never returned. Located in the heart of “Little Bohemia” as the area was known and being of Bohemian descent, the original owner named his business in honor of the Bohemian community that had settled on the west end of the city. Little Bohemia immediately became the gathering place on Saturday nights. At the end of prohibition, the building was expanded to include a tavern and its popularity continued to grow into a Traverse City landmark, now an icon and a premier destination in the city’s West End District. This traditional Michigan tavern has stood the test of time and still maintains its original name. Little Bohemia is blessed with fame in its own right, as the 2nd oldest tavern in Traverse City, but basks in the glory of the late Sir Walter Hagen. The golf legend, who settled on Long Lake after he retired, made a daily stop to “hold court” or play a few games of bumper pool and of course have a few drinks. Mr. Hagen lovingly referred to Little Bohemia as his “home away from home” and often spoke of it during his travels. In 1961, just as he walked off the course from his 1st British Open win, Arnold Palmer received a call from Walter Hagen; a call that was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. “The biggest thrill I got when I set a British Open record of 276 strokes at Troon, was to have Walter Hagen phone me from Little Bo’s in Traverse City to congratulate me,” said Palmer. “I didn’t even know The Haig knew I was alive until then. So when I went to Traverse City to honor him near the end of his life I had to go and visit this place he called his home.” The actual interview can be seen on YouTube; just search Arnold Palmer.Stop by for great home cooking and fast friendly service.
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236 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
    171
    32
    8
    14
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 NEW via mobile

Every year we vacation in Traverse City, Michigan, and ways visit Little Bohemia at least once while we are there. Food is tasty and plentiful. Owner is talkative and very friendly, eager to provide the history of the restaurant, which was the primary "watering hole" of Walter Hagen the professional golfer, and to explain the menu. My favorite is the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Lansing, Michigan
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

I use trip advisor all of the time and it's always very accurate except for this restaurant. Very dark atmosphere and uncomfortable seating. The staff were nice but seemed unable to keep up with a non-busy restaurant. We ordered salads and didn't get them before our food came out - the waitress' excuse was that she hates when they bring... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Georgetown, Kentucky
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

The staff at Lil' Bo were inviting and friendly. The food was excellent and reasonably priced. I was also satisfied by the selection of craft beer. Strongly recommended!!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Traverse City, Michigan
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

Cozy venue with up north feel and good entertainment. The eggplant appetizer is a winner. Menu offers good quality and value. Includes vegetarian options.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
traverse city
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014 via mobile

The best find in traverse city. I just moved to traverse city a couple months ago. All the locals that have been around since childhood said it was the place to go for homemade food. Wowww. Woowww. It is so that place. Over the top impressed. I am from Grand Rapids and this place will no doubt be my new... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

We visited the Little Bohemia four years ago. When planning our trip to return it was first on our list. The place was just as we remembered. This trip we split the cherry bread pudding for dessert. It was delicious! I was very surprised to see there were a few bad reviews about Bo. If you are looking for the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Best Chicken Salad ever! Entering this restaurant is an unexpected adventure! Elvis songs play in the background and the magic begins! Reading the menu there are choices galore. Picking the “safe bet” of chicken salad turned out to be one of the best choices ever! The chicken on top was the highest quality and cooked to a turn; the ingredients... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Louisville, Kentucky
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

Amazing perch! Yummy appetizers - had the eggplant & BBQ wings. Stuffed & happy after a busy day. 😄

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I recently made the mistake of going to this restaurant, based on the good reviews. I'm surpised this place even survives! Awful, microwaved, overpriced dishes and a dramatic bartender! The bartender is the main reason for my review, despite the practically inedible food(STAY AWAY FROM THE EGGPLANT! It's just a big pile of mush). It took her forever to do... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
Traverse City, Michigan
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

My sister was in town and wanted to go to a 'local' place for lunch. A table of ladies playing some card or board game was in the back room and those ladies were the only other people in the place. It took so long for the owner to get to us for our order and then she was extremely... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5

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