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Summertime in Michigan is Back!

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Celebrate all that summer has to offer!

Join us now thru August 31st for seasonal selections and your usual favorites. 

Are You a Distinguished Guest?
As a thank you for your membership,
please enjoy $12 off the purchase of 2 adult dinner entrees.*

Not a Distinguished Guest?
You can still enjoy this offer! Ask your server for details to
become a member or learn more by clicking here.

*Distinguished Guest offer valid Sunday-Thursday through August 31, 2016, at all Kruse and Muer locations, The Rochester Chop House and Kabin Kruser’s Oyster Bar.

Join Us For Happy Hour!

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Please join us for Happy Hour at Kruse and Muer on Main:  Monday – Friday from 3pm – 6pm and Saturdays from 2pm – 5pm to enjoy our new $5 Happy Hour Specials including:  Craft Beer Features, House Wine, Specialty Cocktails & Chef’s Appetizer Features.

Sunday Buffet Brunch – Every Sunday

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While most brunches require guests to wait in long lines to choose from dishes arranged at a single table, our guests have the freedom of visiting specific stations placed strategically throughout the restaurant. This encourages both a leisurely pace and dividing the meal into distinct courses. At the Made-to-Order Omelette station guests choose from a collection of meats, cheeses, vegetables and toppings. The Salad, Baked Goods & Pastries station includes a variety of salads, smoked fish, seafood, fruit, assorted cheeses and fresh-from-the-oven breads and pastries. At the Breakfast, Entrees & Carvings station, guests find banana caramel french toast, creme brulee pancakes, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, fresh fish, Maryland chicken, sun-dried pasta penne and a hand-carved, herb-encrusted roast sirloin. To ensure a sweet ending to the Sunday feast, the Desserts station features chocolate mousse, layered English trifle, cupcakes and cookies.

Brunch is available from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at our Troy Location.

Kruse’s Deer Lake Inn

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The Deer Lake Inn Properties were constructed in the late 1890s, when the Clarkston area was booming with the tourist trade. As Clarkston prospered, summer vacationers began to flock to Deer Lake, staying in private homes, small cottages, and at the Deer Lake Inn. William Barry, a Chicago Hotelier, anticipated the potential of the tourist market and summer getaway, and purchased the Inn, opening the doors on July 3, 1912.

The Deer Lake Inn was successful for the same reasons that Bill Barry himself was successful. With a belief system not unlike our own, Mr. Barry practiced hospitality, becoming close friends with his guests, and inviting them back for personal dinners and week-long getaways. When it came to the Inn’s dining room, Bill provided only the best. He brought in seasoned chefs and wait staff along with the freshest food available to provide a quality experience for each of his visitors.

Along with the palatial Inn, the guests enjoyed the main attraction, the lake itself, at a time when the normal swimming attire included full coats and long black hose for the women, with a $100 fine for insubordinates. Deer Lake was so popular that the railroad added 12 coaches to transport city dwellers to the suburban paradise. As time went on, and automobiles became a lifestyle staple, Deer Lake thrived with the fame of their food and service, with guests from as far away as Tokyo and New Zealand coming to bask in the summer sun.

William Barry eventually retired and sold the Deer Lake Inn Properties in 1925. The Great Depression hit hard, and along with vacations, the Deer Lake Inn became obsolete. It eventually succumbed to the times and was torn down. A small piece of history does remain, as you can still see stonework from the original foundation.

We believe that our property was originally home to a stagecoach stop in the early 1900s. Eventually the stop burned to the ground, and in 1957 the original Deer Lake Inn bar was constructed. They remained in business for 53 years, closing their doors in December of 2010.

The Face of Main Street

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How many times have you passed by the two English Figures gracing the front entry of our Kruse and Muer on Main Street without knowing the history?  It’s a good one!

When I bought the Main Street property in 1990, the storefront was already there, brought to Rochester by Clarence Kavan when he opened his restaurant in the early 1980s. I inherited them and never thought about removing such a landmark. During the recent road construction, trauma and faults were discovered in these historical fixtures, which we are taking steps to restore and preserve in the next few months. Here is the history of the Brass Rail figures:

The Brass Rail Wood & Wood Carving

The façade that now welcomes our guests at Kruse and Muer on Main was once a part of another family of restaurants, the Brass Rails. There were three: one at 20 W. Adams, another at Michigan and Griswold, and the third at 6545 Woodward Avenue. They were called “The Longest Bars in Michigan,” and offered spirits, live music, and good food. The first one opening in 1937, they flourished after prohibition, survived the Great Depression, and entertained many traveling musicians. The hot spot on Adams was notoriously noted as the place where musician Johnnie Ray was arrested for soliciting an undercover policeman.

The original Brass Rail, located on Michigan Avenue, opened in 1937, by owner Joseph Freedman, and Secretary / Treasurer William Boesky. Boesky later opened two more Brass Rail Restaurants, with one at 20 W. Adams, and the other on Woodward, just north of Grand River. Through the years the Brass Rails passed hands from Boesky to Al Shomsky. The last Brass Rail closed in the early 80s, under R. E. Guastuelo’s ownership. The hand carved wood storefronts that were once a part of the Michigan Avenue and Adams locations now rest at Kruse and Muer on Main Street in downtown Rochester, and Adair Bar, in St. Clair County.

The blueprint for the storefront was patented in 1942 by Joseph Freedman, the original owner of the Brass Rail on Michigan Avenue. The 1941 patent application states that Mr. Freedman “invented a new, original, and ornamental design for a storefront”.

The hand carved wooden façade itself is signed by Ted Rogvoy Architects and J. Jungwirth & Co. Rogvoy Architects is still in business today. A current employee of the company said “Ted Rogvoy started his business in 1929 in Detroit (during the Great Depression). He worked the merchants, restaurant owners, and bar owners in downtown Detroit and convinced them to redo their facilities…He would draw sketches for the owners on napkins while drinking in the bars!”

J. Jungwirth & Co. were nationally and internationally renowned for their wood carving workmanship. They were the skilled craftsmen who carved many of the woodworks for the Detroit area, including pieces in the Masonic Temple, various churches and private residences, and the Windsor, Ontario Walker’s Estate. It is rumored they were responsible for the “World’s Largest Stove,” and the “World’s Largest Tire.” There are many small pieces currently up for auction through Cranbrook Schools. Mr. Jungwirth’s son, Leonard Jungwirth, became a famous sculptor in his own right. He is responsible for the bronze Spartan statue that is housed in the Michigan State Spartan Stadium tower. It was moved there in 2005 to protect it from the outside elements.

Bill Kruse’s Year In Review…

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Believe it or not, it’s been one year since I first considered the Kruse’s Deer Lake Inn as our sixth restaurant venture. It’s taken longer, and has certainly been more costly than I originally planned for, but I’m sure it will be worth it in the long run. My sons Casey and Alex and I are most anxious to join the Clarkston community with some very good restaurants. I’m always a bit nervous to be opening in the presence of great competition, but don’t mistake the nervousness as a lack of confidence. I personally have gone through some 20 new restaurant openings and our preparation and experience will have us ready.

So… why did I decide to open number six?  I wanted the opportunity to do an opening with my sons Casey and Alex, and all the people I’ve developed along the way who now possess such great skills and confidence.

The people of Independence Township have been such a great help! Dave Belcher, the Township Building Inspector and Dick Carlisle, City Planner made it clear from the beginning that they would welcome a Kruse and Muer into the community.

Why Kruse’s Deer Lake Inn as a name? It was hard to neglect the history of this longstanding establishment and it seemed only fitting to carry on a tradition that began in the 1890s. Why not “Muer?” Well, it’s a new time and a new generation, one which was conceived by Alex, Casey and me, but will be carried on by the two of them. It’s their time… they have earned it and they will do just fine. I’m very proud of them.

Team Spotlight: Alex Kruse

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Bill Kruse was once described by Chuck Muer as the best “Saloon Keeper” he’d ever come across. Today Bill describes his son Alex the same way. He just seems to have that ability to connect with people and runs his restaurant that way with a real passion. Casey Kruse, Alex’s older brother who is also involved in the company business, once called his Dad, Bill, from the parking lot of the Kruse and Muer at the Village as he was looking through the front window of the restaurant to say, “Oh my gosh Dad…you cannot believe how Alex is running that restaurant tonight…he’s all over the place. You’d be very impressed.” Well yes I am impressed with Alex, the way he runs his restaurant and leads by example. His people are all a reflection of Alex and how he runs things.

When asked, Alex said of the new Kruse’s Deer Lake Inn in Clarkston/Independence Township, “I envision that Kruse’s Deer Lake Inn will become the future of the company. Back when my Dad was working for Chuck Muer, he developed the Tavern Division concept (Uptown Charley’s, Bloomfield Charley’s, etc.) which became a sustaining source of company income. My idea is that the new Deer Lake Inn concept, which combines some of the most popular menu items from Kruse and Muer as well as newly developed menu items, will be what propels this company into the future. My managers and I will always be there to meet and greet our new guests, welcoming them into the Kruse and Muer family. I want to capitalize on those things that have made Kruse and Muer so successful over the years with a new emphasis on beverage merchandising, which I think has long been neglected. Today’s new generation of the dining public is very interested in and knowledgeable about beverages, and those who don’t do something with it will be falling behind the competition. I really want to make this a fun place for me and the guests. I want to do late season Tigers and college football on the deck with ‘grilled to order hamburgers, hot dogs and some great beers in frosty 25 oz. mugs’. It has to be a restaurant that appeals to all ages, with a diverse menu that offers a little something for everyone’s taste and mood. All the people who have come in thus far are just wonderful and so happy that we are here! As for me… I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to run a restaurant in such a “welcoming community” and pledge that I will do all that I know how to do to make this a place that everyone wants to call their own.”

Nightingale Construction Helps Us ‘Keep it Going’

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It takes a lot to maintain a business these days, with the economy, increased competition and a “changing world” of technology. After more than 20 years in business, our facilities can take quite a beating. We try to keep up with it all so our businesses always look fresh for our guests and we maintain a competitive edge. To make this happen, there is a lot of work going on behind-the-scenes (electrical, plumbing, roofing, floors and more).

The person who handles all of that behind-the-scenes work for us is Chad Nightingale of Nightingale Construction in Rochester. I was lucky to be referred to him by one of the Dillman and Upton boys. Chad provides 10 or more hours a week of repairs and maintenance for us and, believe me, there is plenty to keep him busy.

Our managers love Chad’s easy manner and the way he treats our business like it is his own. There are times when a Manager will call Chad for an emergency repair, and without his help we may lose an entire shift of business – a very costly loss for sure. Chad understands this and no matter what time of the day or week, he is always there for us. Chad lives in Rochester, with wife Emily, and children Mia, Will and Charlie.

We’re really glad that Chad Nightingale is part of the “Kruse & Muer ” team.

Bill Kruse