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“Cool Old Restaurant & Bar”

Little Bohemia - Family Tavern in The West End
Ranked #70 of 314 Restaurants in Traverse City
Price range: $9 - $18
Cuisines: Pub
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, 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.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Stopped in to Lil Bo's on a recent Friday night to catch a great bluegrass band and was dismayed that the band ended up being cancelled because of the weather. Fortunately, we decided to stay for dinner. I had the meatloaf special, which was delicious, and my wife had a small order of the fish and chips, which was also very good. Lil Bo's has a nice beer selection, both on tap and in bottles. This is the second oldest bar/restaurant in Traverse City and the place where Walter Hagen used to hang out when he was in TC. Lots of cool memorabilia on the walls regarding that interesting fact.

2  Thank rmeade88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (390)
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254 - 258 of 390 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2014

We arrived at Little Bohemia a little early and the staff was still setting up for Valentines evening activities. They were very gracious and let us in early to eat a lovely dinner. My Wife and I had fish and chips, our girls had pizza and spaghetti. We all enjoyed out food and the wonderful atmosphere of Little Bo! Highly recommend the food and the staff was a delight to meet and talk with. We will definately return the next time we are in Traverse City and will recommend to our friends! Thank you for helping us end our Traverse City getaway with a great meal!!

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1  Thank Adamh1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

After remembering a tasty impromptu midsummer's lunch at "Little Bo," we decided on a return visit on a chilly February evening for a post-movie dinner. We had great food and a great customer experience. We were promptly greeted and served our wines (8 oz. pour, and reasonably priced).

Enjoyed the imaginative potato gnocchi app, a crispy and well-tossed Caesar salad, spinach & Swiss cheese grilled sandwich, and the best Beef Stroganoff (a Saturday night special) I've ever had. Instead of egg noodles, the kitchen opts for penne regate - a non-traditional but extremely wise choice since the pasta holds all of that rich and flavorful sauce. Authentic Eastern European flavors going on all around, and my family comes from the region.

Both the owner and waitperson were extremely kind and attentive, describing how the dishes are prepared. Made us feel right at home!

Little Bo's has become one of our favorite dining spots in the Traverse City area, and we expect to return, with family and friends as guests.

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1  Thank Joseph L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

I have known about Little Bohemia for years but assumed it was more of a bar. I am sorry I didn't find them sooner! The sweet potatoe tots were great, crab cakes were amazing, the stroganoff was clearly homemade and delicious! There were four of us and we all were very pleased with our food and had excellent service. We are already looking forward to the next visit and to hit some music nights.

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1  Thank Patti T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Big disappointment overall. Seemed like half their menu was "best" of traverse city. When all three items we tried were not even that good. Place is over hyped.

4  Thank Caleb B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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