Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 23, 2014

The Yard looks for a home run with locals

TRAVERSE CITY — A downtown restaurant and bar has a brand-new name, look and feel.

The Yard, 221 E. State St., is the project of new operator and incoming owner Tonya Cook. Cook carried out a $50,000 remodel of the property formerly known as the State Street Grille, adding new, larger high-definition televisions, lighting, flooring and signage.

“We’ve improved the atmosphere, we’ve improved the service, we’ve changed the menu, and in our opinion improved the quality of the food,” Cook said.

Cook entered into a purchase agreement for the property in February. The rebranding and remodel was finished in mid-May. The goal, Cook said, is to create an attractive restaurant and bar to which locals can gravitate.

“The (term) The Yard has a lot of significance to it for a lot of different sports,” Cook said. “We want it to be the neighborhood place. We also thought inviting someone into your yard, with our patio, fits well.”

The Yard’s patio features live music Monday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 3 to 7 p.m. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and all day Sunday. The restaurant also has a late night happy hour from 9 p.m. to close Monday through Thursday, a late kitchen open until midnight, and Friday night dance parties with a club mix and DJ in the summer months.

“I feel like what differentiates us from a lot of other places downtown is that we are really trying to keep it very local-friendly with reasonable prices,” Cook said.

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