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“Try the deserts! Pies and cobblers are unbelievable.”

Little Bohemia - Family Tavern in The West End
Ranked #63 of 304 Restaurants in Traverse City
Price range: $9 - $18
Cuisines: Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
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.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Try the deserts! Pies and cobblers are unbelievable.”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Dined once. German food was mediocre but not great. Cheeseburger was very good. Service (owner) was outstanding. This restaurant is on its way up. It is also an alternative to all the tourist traps. Has a great long standing, historical roadhouse atmosphere. The new chef will probably improve the menu. Must try and great nightly entertainment. Solid bar. Very friendly.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pietro S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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385 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Loveland, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great Place, Especially Handy for a Mixed Group”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

At Little Boho, the room is beautiful, the staff is friendly and the food is great. It is an excellent place to go if the people in your party all want different things: sandwiches and full meals, vegetarian or nouveau entrees and old-fashioned home cooking, ethnic (Little Boho has v good Italian and GREAT German) or plain American. Not many places can accommodate all sorts of people with ease! The atmosphere is perfect: not stuffy or snotty or stiff, just relaxed. There's a bar, but it's definitely a full-service restaurant, welcoming for families.

I especially like seeing the old, original coved ceilings and brickwork outside. Even the paint colors inside make me feel like I've gone back in time! I hope it never changes.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PG58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
“Lil' Bo' Is The Best”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I visited Little Bohemia during a trip to Traverse City a few weeks ago and had a great dining experience. The hospitality shown to me by Nancy and her staff was excellent. I started off with Crabcakes which were excellent. Next on the meal was a half order of goulash which was delicious. The half order was the equivalent of a full order at most places. Then Nancy asked what I would like for dessert and I decided on apple crisp expecting it to be served in a small bowl. When Nancy brought the dessert, it almost filled a plate. Whipped cream filled the remaining plate. Multiple waitresses asked how everything was and if I needed anything. I would highly recommend Little Bohemia!!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MikeW102013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ypsilanti
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Place!”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

Nice place, good service, you can appreciate the tradition of this place being around for so long, nice alternative to restaurants on the busier parts of Front Street.
The olive burger was so good, I would have eaten 5 of them if I could.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank YpsiKev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fun place”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We had diner at this interesting restaurant one night on a recent trip. There was live music reminiscent of the name of this restaurant. The waitresses were all offering to take our order. Their olive burger was excellent cooked to perfection. My wife and I shared a bread pudding desert, worth the trip itself. Perhaps the nicest thing was the owner stopped to visit us personally, a nice touch. She brought us a little taste of a hot apple desert and it was excellent. We could tell this was a popular local place and it was a treat. We will visit here again.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 483TerryL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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