CHARLEVOIX — Tucked in a peaceful nook of Northern Charlevoix, Jax Northside restaurant is now open to the community.
Overlooking lush green golf course fairways, the inviting modern rustic atmosphere of the re-modeled eatery is clean, well-spaced out and offers patrons several different areas of their establishment to enjoy—the bar, the main dining room, or a bright and airy window filled room.
Patricia and Jack Strand came out of retirement to open Jax. They are the former owners of Kelsey B’s, and with ‘the restaurant business in their blood’, they recognized the need for a great place on the north end of Charlevoix.
The name Jax pays homage to a five star restaurant that generations of the Strand Family has patronized in Minneapolis.
“We traveled around and did what we wanted on our house, and decided we needed to keep busy and get back to what we love, so we started looking back at businesses, and came back to the restaurant,” Jack said.
They serve classic American fare with as much local flavor as possible, and take a lot of pride on their house made dressings and sauces.
Talented chef Zach Snay shares their vision for quality and delicious food and runs the kitchen with those ideas in mind. There is a fully stocked bar, and a premium salad bar that has been a huge hit with clientele, Patti said.
Some of the offerings at the salad bar include a choice of lettuce, whole hard boiled eggs, vegetables, cottage cheese, house made macaroni salad and pepperoni.
“It used to be really popular to have a salad bar, but they kind of phased out. It is our biggest draw, because you don’t find them much anymore,” Patti said. “It’s been a really successful thing to offer our customers. When you walk in the door, it’s the first thing you see, and it really reflects our restaurant.”
Sous Chef Rosie Chavez shows some large fresh mushrooms to the Strands, and asks them what they think the kitchen should do about this dilemma—they are for the fresh battered mushroom appetizer, but are much larger than expected. Chavez heads back into the kitchen to experiment with the oversize fungi.
The Strands stand in the kitchen, tasting the fresh fried mushrooms Chavez has prepared. They wave steam away from their mouths as they give the thumbs up on appetizer. The large kitchen is immaculate, with each stainless steel station being prepped for the day’s orders.
”We understand the community and we know the locals; they like us and we like them. They just want a place to go with good food, good value, and where they are welcome—we want to be that place,” Jack said. “We support the other businesses in town, it’s all about being a good community, and we are lucky to have had a good following, and we strive to be a positive part of Charlevoix.”
They are in the process of buying the lot next door to expand the parking lot. The Strands recognize the need for more spaces and are working hard to address that for their guests. They know tourist season is beginning, and want to do their best to prepare for the influx of diners in our city.
“The Pure Michigan Campaign has been so successful that towns can barely handle the volume of visitors. There is a real staffing crisis in the area, and we are really lucky to have an excellent crew we can count on to provide the best customer service,” Jack said.
Dishes they have had amazing feedback on from customers include the fried Brussel sprouts with bacon and spicy honey, and the brisket melt, a unique play on the traditional French dip sandwich. These creative menu items have fast become local favorites.
“We want to cater to the locals for their business all year round…that’s how we want things to be here,” Patti said, as she was making sure everything was in place before they opened for the day.
The Strands are proud to work hard and serve quality food in a comfortable and warm atmosphere for the Charlevoix community, and they invite everyone to stop in and check out their new establishment for an excellent meal.
Jax’s offers dine in and carry out. For more information, visit their Facebook page, or visit www.jaxcx.com.
Before you Go
Address: 757 Petoskey Avenue in Charlevoix.
Phone: (231) 437-6400
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; Closed Sunday
Article originally posted on:Charlevoix Courier