From a family-friendly beer garden to delicious dishes, here are five great reasons to visit the new iteration of STIX, a beloved restaurant and bowling alley in Ludington.

This article first appeared in Traverse Northern Michigan. Find this story and more when you explore our magazine library. Want Traverse delivered to your door or inbox monthly? View our print subscription and digital subscription options.

Andrew Riemer has long loved STIX, a Ludington restaurant and bowling alley originally built in 1954. Though it’d fallen into disrepair, he dreamed of what it could be. A few years ago, Riemer asked an area Realtor to give him a call if the property was ever put on the market, and in 2020, it was. He rebuilt the aging building from the ground up, creating a modern two-story restaurant with nautical vibes and a little something for everyone:

1) A family-friendly beer garden has games for kids and adults—cornhole, Jenga, bocce—along with a food truck, Argentinian grill, campfires and a huge oak tree wrapped in lights setting the scene.

Beach at STIX in Ludington

Photo by STIX

2) The attached bowling alley was completely renovated and outfitted with the latest technology: Spark by Brunswick Bowling. The augmented reality system projects digital images and mini games onto the lanes; STIX is one of approximately 50 bowling centers in the world to have this new technology, Riemer says.

Bowling alley at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

Burger at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

3) An upstairs patio called The Pier overlooks the beer garden; here you’ll find high-end whiskeys and hear live music on evenings when artists are performing in the garden.

Dining area at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

Bartender and bar at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

4) The on-site dining is spot on. Riemer interviewed chefs across the nation—New York, Texas, Atlanta—before finding a perfect match in Ryan Wierenga from Lansing, Michigan, who crafts elevated dishes like prosciutto-wrapped shrimp for the restaurant alongside more casual pub fare such as wings and loaded fries for the separate bowling alley menu.

Drinks and food from at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

Chef plating at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

Chef cooking at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

steak and asparagus at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

5) A scenic setting helps sweeten the destination—STIX is the last business before the entrance to Ludington State Park, which Riemer says is one of the most beautiful state parks in the nation (we don’t disagree). Grab dinner after a day of hiking, biking and beaching.

Outside at STIX in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo(s) by STIX