Goldie’s Saloon: That up-north feel in a Macomb bar
Looking for a place to have great food and a good time? OU News Bureau reporters have visited some distinctive eateries in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties to learn more about what these places have to offer. Reporter Steven Skipinski visited Goldie’s Saloon in Macomb Township and spoke with co-owner Matt Giroux.
Tell me about the history of this place.
The building itself was built in 1874. Back then, Romeo Plank was an old plank toll road. When North Avenue, Gratiot and Van Dyke would get wet and muddy, farmers couldn’t get their horse and buggies through the mud. Goldie’s Saloon was one of their first stops that they would make to pay the toll and get through to Mount Clemens for feed for their farms. Throughout its history, it was all kinds of different things. It was a mail office, a general store, a bar and so on. My dad bought it in 1977, and we’re keeping it going.
Describe what it offers patrons.
A lot of these bars have their different themes. We don’t really have anything special. It’s just good food, good help, good people. There is no frilly stuff. So many other bars try to dress up their bars and make them look old. The nice part is that we don’t have to do that because it’s old already. It’s just a watering hole for the closest people around.
Why would someone want to come here?
I get a lot of people who want to go to the small mom and pop places because the bigger places are very commercialized. They want to get as much money as they can get out of you. Here, it’s just a decent burger and a decent price of beer. A lot of people want that. It’s more of an up-north bar still in the city. We still keep up the health department regulations, but in other regards, we try to keep it the same.
What do you do that’s different from other places like this?
Our food. I try to keep the quality up. I do my own fish and chips, and we make a quality burger. We cook on an open-flame grill. We cook our food right in front of the customers, so what you see is what you get. If you’re in a back kitchen, you can take some shortcuts. I try to make the best quality food for everybody. It’s not all about making money here.
What is one thing that everyone should order here?
It’s either got to be the burgers or the fish. I go through a lot of burgers, and there are a lot of people who like the fish and chips. We also have bison burgers now, so you know you’re getting some quality meat.
How many employees work here?
Seven. There are five ladies that work as bartenders and cooks, and my brother and I both own and manage the bar. I’ve had many good employees over the years, and I wish that I could provide health insurance for them. I’ve lost many good employees because we can’t provide health insurance. However, I do have an employee who has been with us for 13 years. Everybody pitches in to do their fair share of work around here. I’ve got some great employees.
What does the future hold for this place?
We would like to redo the bar and get new carpeting in the near future. We would also like to put in a patio behind the building. When the law was passed against smoking, we lost a lot of business. It will take some time because we have to get an architect draw up a design. In the future, though, we are planning on doing something outside. I would love to just keep it genuine and keep with the older feeling of the bar.
Goldie’s Saloon is at 45330 Romeo Plank Road in Macomb Township, Michigan, and on Facebook. (586) 286-6991.
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