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“Spur of the moment delight”

Little Bohemia - Family Tavern in The West End
Ranked #74 of 316 Restaurants in Traverse City
Price range: US$9 - US$18
Cuisines: Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, 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 16 September 2017 via mobile

Out of the ordinary and delicious. My husband had the olive burger-raved about it. I had the goulash which was wonderful with unique spices. We had the cherry bread pudding which easily fed two and took home a carrot cake. Lots of pride in their dishes and they stay true to a bohemian freshly prepared point of view. Saturdays are beef stroganoff days so we'll be back soon for that!

Thank crystalhaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (391)
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3 - 7 of 391 reviews

Reviewed 15 September 2017

The food was delicious but had an issue with our check. My husband paid the bill and after we left he said he thought we were overcharged. The next day on our way home we stopped back in for an explanation of our bill. We didn't get a receipt the night before. The same lady that waited on us was working. Apparently she is the owner. She was very rude. We had used a coupon so she automatically added in gratuity. I guess this is their "policy" because they "always get screwed" on tips when it comes to coupons. I have used coupons at many different restaurants and this is the first time I have ever heard of such a thing. She gave herself a $6.93 tip on a bill that was $31.25 before tax and 10% discount. We were very happy with the food and prior to stopping back in for an explanation of our bill had all intentions of going back and eating here again but not after the way we were treated when we went to ask about the bill. We are all human and make mistakes from time to time. The computer wasn't working so I thought maybe she didn't add things up correctly. She was rude from the minute we walked in the door. We will not go back and will not recommend this place to anyone. I was quite surprised to find out it was the owner we were dealing with.

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Thank bshilling462
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2017 via mobile

I guess in the Midwest it's tavern food but I definitely know it as pub or bar food. However you describe it, this place is really good. It was a little walk from downtown but well worth it.

We had the perch, which was exceptional. Nicely fried, not greasy and it tasted fresh. The desserts were also very good. Nice beer selection too.

Thank Rob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2017

this older place still has some pazazz. Great place to eat, drink, and visit with friends. Lots of beverages to choose from.

Thank dowie2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2017

We stopped in early one evening to this little gem in Traverse City. Be sure that you take time to read the history of the restaurant, which is on the back of the menu - there may be a quiz! We were greeted by the server, who happened to be the daughter of the owners, and she's quite a character! Just keep in mind that you are going into a local treasure, and that like the owners' daughter, it has a lot of character. Part of the dining area is the original building, built way back in the 1930's, and since added on to. Original booths are also part of the decor. The menu takes you back to the times of local tavern food, and Bohemian dishes. This place is famous for its Olive Burger, and I have to say, I think it was the best one I've ever had in Traverse City! Fresh ground meat, plenty of salty olives, and a bun that keeps it all together. Yummy! My husband had a hankering for meatloaf, and he was not disappointed! We shared the cherry bread pudding (if you go to a restaurant in TC and didn't see something cherry-related on the menu, you weren't in TC!) with local-made ice cream, and it was heavenly! So, if you are looking for comfort food, an eclectic tavern, and good ol' home cooking, this is your place!

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Thank Karin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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