3 New Food & Drink Experiences (Outdoors!) in Northern Michigan

Many Northern Michigan restaurants, wineries and breweries are offering innovative outdoor seating for visitors this summer. Check out three of the newest experiences at Mawby in Suttons Bay, Left Foot Charley in Traverse City and Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor.

Table Four2 at Mawby, Suttons Bay 

Mawby is offering an intimate, socially distanced wine experience at its Suttons Bay tasting room. Guests are taken to a private table tucked beneath two apple trees in the vineyard where they’re treated to four curated wine and food pairings (menu below). Table Four2 is offered at 1 p.m. Mondays–Thursdays through September 22. Reservations are required and must be made 24 hours in advance. Tickets are $95 per couple, with tax and gratuity included, and can be booked online.

Table Four2 Menu

  • Fish and Chips – White Anchovies, Potato Chips, Lemon-Garlic Aioli paired with Mawby’s Green Sparkling Wine
  • Idyll Stagg – Elk Salami, Fennel Pollen Goat Cheese, Blackberry Shiraz Jam paired with Mawby’s Grace Sparkling Wine
  • Cracker Jack – Caramel/Cheddar Popcorn, Curried Cashews paired with Mawby’s Redd Sparkling Wine
  • Cookies and Cream – Almondina, Lime Butter Cream paired with Mawby’s Detroit
Outdoor Garden at Left Foot Charley, Traverse City

Left Foot Charley (LFC) is adding an outdoor garden to its Barrel Room to give guests new wine by the glass and reserve tasting flight options. The Barrel Room garden patio will have appropriately spaced seating for 24 to 30 people. The winery plans to open the space officially on August 6 with the release of its 2017 Gitali Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. Visit LFC’s website​ for reservation and pricing details.

LFC is also welcoming Kristy McClellan to lead educational and focused tasting experiences in the Barrel Room and garden. Kristy has been in the hospitality business for more than 20 years and first fell in love with wine working under Chef Harlan “Pete” Peterson and Master Sommelier Ron Edwards at Tapawingo Restaurant in Ellsworth.

Left Foot Charley plans to hold reserved seated tastings at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, including a guided taste through select wines from its library and wines that are yet to be released. At 5 p.m. the tasting room will be open for wine by the glass from a curated list with featured appetizers from neighboring chefs at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. “We will be offering a distinct experience that compliments our current wine bar offerings but in an old world style. One parking space—two settings to enjoy our wine!” says owner and winemaker Bryan Ulbrich.

Outdoor Taproom at Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor

Cherry Republic recently opened an outdoor taproom in its beer garden area. Housed in a bright-red shipping container, the outdoor taproom has eight taps with beer, soda and wine pours available. Guests can grab lunch or dinner at Cherry Public House (pulled pork, ribs, burgers and more), and live music is scheduled for Friday nights. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, with more on the way.