Back in college (the 80s), we’d say we were “going to the Library,” and we weren’t talking about the one on campus!
It meant we were going to our favorite bar and restaurant in downtown Houghton, Michigan. You’d walk in the door, and there was the original bar hanging upside down, mounted from the ceiling. The walls were covered in bookshelves with thousands of books. You might stay downstairs to eat, or you might venture upstairs to find a seat. Didn’t matter, you were there to enjoy good food, good beer, good company, and have a great night.
Owned by Big Jon Davis, a well-known member of the Houghton community, rally-car driver and organizer, originator of the Frisbee Hall of Fame… the place was as eclectic as he was. And that carried on to the printed menu, brilliantly designed by Mr. Terry Brooks from nearby Chassell.
Rarely do you run across a menu that compels you to read it from cover to cover. And re-read. And re-read again. Because you don’t want to miss any tidbit of humor and wisdom tucked in it. Such was the menu from the Library. I know many menus managed to walk home with students and other visitors… I may have been guilty of that, but these images were kindly shared with me by a fellow MTU alum a few years back.*
And so, I share with you Big Jon’s Encyclopedia of Damn Fine Victuals, also known as the Library Bar and Restaurant Menu.
Read. Learn. Laugh. Enjoy.
And lament that Big Jon is no longer with us (having passed in 2010), and that while the Library still exists, it is not the same place, nor the same menu. (A fire several years ago, as well as new owners a few times over, obviously creates change.)
Go ahead … share your favorite memories and menu items in the comments!
Oh, and my favorite menu item? (Besides the awesome pizza?) The Babushka Bros. Delight, a confection of turkey, ham swiss cheese, and peach slices on a crispy sandwich roll. I think I need to get some peaches tonight on the way home…
*P.S. If one of my friends has a real copy laying around, take some color photos and send them to me and I’ll put them up here instead!