We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Joe's Friendly Tavern

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
American, Bar, Pub
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
+1 231-326-5506
Website
Today
07:30 - 23:00
Closed now
All hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 07:30 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 07:30 - 23:00
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

293 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 292: English reviews
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Popular place in Empire. Possibly because there are not very many alternatives. That may be why they charge what the do. The decor of the place wold suggest a more moderately priced menu.

Helpful?
Thank jlschuit1
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for the four stars even though you were disappointed in the price. More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016 via mobile

Empire, Michigan is a sleepy little town and I stopped into Joe's for lunch. It was established in the 1940s and it doesn't look like much has changed. I ordered one of Joe's famous burgers and it was pretty dang good! Throw a fried egg on for an extra buck fifty and you've got yourself a little slice of heaven!... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rob M
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Nothing much has changed since the 40's here in Empire, glad you enjoyed it. Thank you, hope to see you again, soon. More 

Michigan
Level Contributor
64 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016 via mobile

After viewing the Dunes we needed to have a bite to eat and a warmup! This place certainly fit the bill. Cute cozy pub with great chili and beer. Great friendly service topped it off.

Helpful?
Thank retired04Michigan
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Winter will soon be here, but we still have plenty of great fall weather to enjoy. Thank you for making Joe's part of your color tour. More 

Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016 via mobile

We had the grilled cheese and honey crisp apple sandwich with sweet potato fries and the bacon cheeseburger. Both were very good, the service was fast and the ambiance was very nice. The food was made in house and from local sources.

Helpful?
Thank rubymoose
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

I see you enjoyed Joe's October sandwich special, The Perfect Fall Ultimate Grilled Cheese. Joe's features a different sandwich every month (November we have The Ultimate Grind) through the winter (along with different daily and nightly dinner specials). Be sure to visit us again...The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is truly a four season destination. More 

Marshall, Michigan
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

We stumbled upon this restaurant on our way to Glen Arbor. We hoped to find a quick lunch at this simple looking little restaurant, but were surprised at how good the food was. The menu had a good variety of choices, the servings were large, the prices very reasonable, the service was good and the food was delicious. Next time... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sheri G
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thanks for mentioning our sunsets....I may be partial, but I think the Empire Beach has the best sunsets. Oh, and thank you for telling the TA community about our little restaurant, glad you enjoyed, we look forward to the opportunity to serve you again. More 

Columbus, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016 via mobile

Not far from Empire Bluff hike, this place has great pub/diner style food. Good beer on draft and waitstaff was great with family and young unsettled kids...great onion rings and chili!

Helpful?
Thank Chris R
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and for bringing your tribe to Joe's. Glad you enjoyed, we hope to see you again soon. More 

office
Level Contributor
72 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2016 via mobile

Good choice for all American food, burger was tasty and done right. Staff was friendly and we would definately go back.

Helpful?
Thank 1cabin
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you so much, we are pleased that you enjoyed our food and service. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again . More 

Caledonia, Michigan
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2016

This used to be a great place to go. Dinner was good (best hamburger anywhere) and it still is very good. Service stinks. The Breakfast was awful (wife had eggs, nodda and I had pancakes that were not cooked (two tries). No attempt to make it right and th staff really didn't care. Sorry to see this languish from 4... More 

Helpful?
Thank highstone351
Level Contributor
288 reviews
232 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

Stopped in for lunch after hiking Sleeping Bear Dunes-we were promptly greeted and seated and well taken care of. Enjoyed homemade chicken noodle soup-Yum and a great cheese burger deluxe. Burger was large and tasty - atmosphere was good - I would revisit. Recommend you give it a go! Carpe Diem! P.S. Check out the double commodes in the "men's"... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ellie352
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the TA community and for telling them about Joe's mens room. There actually is an explanation for our "unique" set up....but it's more fun to hear all the different theories. So please, visit Joe's, enjoy the food....and don't forget to check out the mens room. More 

Middleville, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2016 via mobile

I'm already looking forward to going back. My husband had the French dip sandwich. It was amazing! I had a hamburger, it was almost as good. We went on a Friday night, the place was busy but they were able to keep up great service.

Helpful?
Thank Sharon C
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

....and we are already looking forward to your return. Thank you for your generous review, we are glad you enjoyed. More 

Travellers who viewed Joe's Friendly Tavern also viewed

Empire, Leelanau County
Glen Arbor, Leelanau County
 
Glen Arbor, Leelanau County
Glen Arbor, Leelanau County
 

Been to Joe's Friendly Tavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 bubbles
Cuisine
American, Bar, Pub
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Bar Scene, Kids, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Groups
Open Hours
Sunday
07:30 - 22:00
Monday
07:30 - 22:00
Tuesday
07:30 - 22:00
Wednesday
07:30 - 22:00
Thursday
07:30 - 22:00
Friday
07:30 - 23:00
Saturday
07:30 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
  • Location: United States  >  Michigan (MI)  >  Leelanau County  >  Empire
  • Phone Number: +1 231-326-5506

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Joe's Friendly Tavern staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?