Art’s Tavern will host the Beach Bards poetry and storytelling troupe together with musicians Jim Crockett, Patrick Niemisto and John Kumjian on Sunday, April 28, from 4-6 pm. All free-will offerings and donations will support the efforts of the Empire Area Community Emergency Fund to assist members of the community who have fallen on hard times. For more information visit

Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor hosts music and poetry with singer-songwriters Jim Crockett, Patrick Niemisto, John Kumjian, and The Beach Bards poetry and storytelling troupe on Sunday, April 30, from 4-6 p.m. Admission is free. Patrons are encouraged to make a good will offering to the Empire Area Community Center for those in the community who have fallen on hard times. The EACC is a 501(c)3 public charity.

Leelanau County has added another notch of fame to its belt. Now the two most popular boys’ names in America have their roots in beloved taverns in Glen Arbor and Empire. Last year, 18 percent of all newborn boys nationwide were honored with the names “Art” and “Joe” on their birth certificates. “Art” for Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor, and “Joe” for Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire.

Ever pause while eating your basket of smelt or tater tots or drinking an IPA at Art’s Tavern and glance up at the pennants attached to the ceiling above you? Ever wonder how they got there? We did, and we asked Art’s owner Tim Barr for the story.

A big weekend awaits Glen Arbor. On Saturday, during the much hyped Michigan vs. Michigan State football game at noon, Art’s Tavern will offer bargain deals. “We’re going to double the price of everything on the menu and then take 50 percent off,” boasted Art’s jovial co-owner Tim Barr. “For both Wolverine and Spartan fans!”

Maggie Maclellan (above) has been working at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor for 14 years (except for the winters when she left). An Empire local, Maggie has worked as a bartender, waitress, and hostess at Art’s, and this year she worked 70 hours during the Fourth of July week. “Generally I work 50 hours a week, and that’s not bad. That’s typical.” This summer Art’s has been short “maybe 20 people,” Maggie says. Usually we employ 60-70 through the summer; this year it’s around 40 or 50,” says Maggie as summer winds down: “I would like some time off. I’m gonna go camping one night, just by myself.”

Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor is a go-to spot for burgers, beers and—if you’re in the mood—shots of liquor. On Wednesday, May 5, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. it’s also a great spot to receive free COVID-19 vaccination shots. No appointments are necessary. Staff from the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department will be on hand to administer Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots to anyone age 18 or older.

The bustle of late-May and the annual race toward Memorial Day weekend are obvious at businesses in Glen Arbor. Of course, there is NOTHING normal about this holiday weekend—the typical start to the tourism season in Leelanau County. The state, the nation, and the world remain on virtual lockdown—and yet, restaurants and bars in Northern Michigan were suddenly given the exclusive green light by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday to reopen today. No one knows how busy—or not—this Memorial Day weekend will be.

Local businesses are showing signs of life, despite the global coronavirus pandemic and statewide shutdown. Art’s Tavern and Blu in Glen Arbor are both open for curbside service, as are Leland’s Riverside Inn and Empire’s Friendly Tavern.

On Saturday, November 23, an unprecedented event occurred in Glen Arbor. An old abandoned graveyard came alive again, thanks to some very caring folks from here and from Interlochen.