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Restaurant Week will serve up specials along the Nautical Mile

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 6, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s back.

To kick off the summer boating season, restaurants on the Nautical Mile are bringing back their spring Restaurant Week April 11-17. Seven restaurants along the Nautical Mile will offer food and drink specials and special menus for the week to give patrons a chance to see what they have to offer.

“We are hoping to attract many new diners to our Nautical Mile to experience everything we have here,” said Nautical Mile Merchants Association President Donna Flaherty in a press release. “And we’re sure they won’t leave disappointed.”

This year, the participating restaurants are: 

• Pat O’Brien’s Tavern

• Mike’s on the Water

• Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen

• The Current Food & Libations

• Steve’s Backroom

• Pegasus Taverna 

• Jefferson Yacht Club

At Steve’s Backroom, they will be offering an appetizer, entree and dessert special for around $20 that includes choices of meat, chicken or fish entrees. 

“I think it’s great because it kind of kicks off the boating season as well. Especially this year, because we’re hoping the season will arrive earlier because of the weather,” said Charlie Raffoul, owner of Steve’s Backroom.

He said the restaurant is known for its old-fashioned Lebanese cuisine, with recipes that have been in the family for years. Raffoul attributes the quality of the food to his wife, Bouchra, who makes sure that everything is fresh.

“Not every restaurant in the Middle Eastern line does a lot of the things that we do because it’s really labor intensive,” he said. 

He said the special menu will feature regular-sized portions, and the regular menu will still be available as well.

“It gives people a chance to come in and try your restaurant who have never been there before,” Raffoul said. “That’s the most important part.”

Chef Jim Winowiecki, of Jefferson Yacht Club, said that since he came on board about eight months ago, they felt that Nautical Mile Restaurant Week would allow the club a chance to show new customers what they have to offer. While the JYC is a private club, it will be open to the public during that week so people can experience the food and check out the club’s other amenities, including a pool, covered pavilion and clubhouse.

“This club has gone through some changes lately, and it’s on an upswing with memberships,” he said. 

The JYC menu is ever changing and offers unique items like seafood jambalaya, black and white shrimp, and coconut macadamia shrimp, along with burgers, sandwiches and meatloaf.

“We change it probably every couple weeks or so,” Winowiecki said. “Items that aren’t moving well, we take those off and try something new.”

He said they are trying to think outside the box for Restaurant Week and will offer a two- or three-course menu in the $15-$20 range. 

“We’re a pretty reasonably priced club,” he said. “It’s a private club, so it’s a close-knit group of friends and members who you’re dining with.”

At Fishbone’s, they’re excited for the summer season and will be opening up the outdoor patio in the middle of Restaurant Week, on April 15. 

“We have been getting the staff geared up and ready to go,” said Michelle Mark, the restaurant’s general manager. “Everyone’s really excited about it. I really think it’s going to be a great success.”

This year, Mark said Fishbone’s will be offering a “lobster steamer,” which is a pound-and-a-half of lobster in a pot with redskin potatoes and corn on the cob, for $25. There will also be bar specials during the week, and they will be featuring some of their desserts as well. 

“It’s just a good time,” she said. “Offer something great for our guests, knowing that they’re going to come back. You give someone a good product for a good price and you serve it well.” 

Mark said the restaurant always participates in Nautical Mile Restaurant Week.

“If the Mile doesn’t do well, we don’t do well,” she said. “We very much are very proud and very honored to be part of that.”

For locations and more information on the participating restaurants, visit