May 29-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: May: May 29-04
Goodbye to the Hut Inn    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Brita Haapala
Reprint of one of the earliest web pages on Pasty Central:
The Hut-Inn today
I live in the Copper Country, the most beautiful place in the world. Every day  driving home from work (Calumet to Eagle River), this is one of the sights I see. The Hut-Inn: a landmark in the Keweenaw, a place where memories are made. 
    My first memories of the Hut date back to the mid-60's as a teenager, working in the summer at Camp Gitche Gumee . The worker's  regular night out was Thursday, when we would often order the
 burger basket. The menu at that time offered a basket which included fries and a drink... but below the description, it offered the sandwich alone with the heading "Cheesburger from above". Heavenly food, we would agree laughing. 
    You may be interested to know the Hut was built in 1952 (which happens to be the year I was born) by Paul Hendrickson. As the story goes, Paul was wounded in battle during World War II and sent to a hospital in Paris to recover.  During his stay he had lots of 
The Hut-Inn in the 50's
time to think about his return to civilian life. This was where the dream of the Hut-Inn was born.
   Upon returning to Northern Michigan, Paul set out to build a dining establishment with the character of the Keweenaw. A special place with a unique atmosphere was the result of his efforts, and those who followed. 
   The Hut-Inn has undergone changes over the years, in its appearance, ownership, and menu. They no longer offer "Cheesburgers from above" but the food is just as heavenly as always. We like to go to the Hut every Saturday night when they feature live guitar music. 
   There are many sights to see in the Keweenaw. The shoreline, the mountain drive, the sunsets, the people, and the historical places. After a busy day of sightseeing, I can think of no better way to spend dinner time than over a delicious meal with friends at the Hut-Inn. Just north of Calumet on U.S. 41. Stop in next time you're in the Copper Country. 
Charlie Hopper

Charlie Hopper, Eagle River, MI on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 07:42 am:

While Toivo has the holiday weekend off, thanks for letting me reminisce about this icon of our region, whose doors will be closed day after tomorrow.

It's hard to imagine life without the Hut, such an integral part of our weekly routine for the past 16 years that our family has lived here. During one nine-year stretch, we missed only a couple of those Saturday nights, having dinner while listening to the music of Steve Jones and Heine Ollila, then later to Steve and Rob Fritz. So many banquets in the Keweenaw Room... so many reunions and family get-togethers.

As life goes on here in the U.P. we will always have warm memories of THE HUT-INN.

By Mike - Transplanted Yooper - Redford, Mi on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 07:47 am:

We're gonna miss a great landmark & a great place to eat. Used to bring my finance (now my wife) here alot during our "courting days". Also remember going here as a kid. Always thought the waterfalls were so cool.
The food was always good. Who could beat the California Medly (sp?) soup?

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 07:48 am:

Why are they closing their doors? I hate to hear news like this... Especially from the U.P., since I feel NOTHING should ever change there. :)

By Patt on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 08:15 am:

Being a somewhat newbie to the UP when my son started at Mi Tech 3 years ago we explored the UP and one of the delightful places we ate was the HUT I loved the quaintness of it and after our first visit we would go there often when mom came up for a visit. Sorry to see it go.

By J.P. on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 09:00 am:

Amazing interior design. Truly unique.

By Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge - Cadillac, MI on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 09:29 am:

I'm sorry to hear that the Hut is closing. We always planned to stop "one day"! After seeing the interior shot; I'm very sorry that we didn't!

By Mark from Kaleva and soon Calumet on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 09:32 am:

I am sorry to see the Hut go. Do you know how many restaurants are closed, for sale or both?
The Hut, Country House, Jim's, Old Copper Kettle, Shawn's, John's, Probably more, but that is all I can think of.

P.S. Where is the Cheapest gas between St. Ignace and Calumet. We are coming up to day and wanted to get excited about gas maybe being only $2.05 a gallon!!! How Sad!!!

By Dave, Laurium on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 09:35 am:

Mike...If you got enough gas to make it to Baraga, that is likely the cheapest gas in the area....

By Mark From Kaleva and soon Calumet on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:06 am:

I came up there two weeks ago> Would you believe that Ishpeming was the cheapest in the whole stretch? 1.979 a gallon. beat Baraga by two cents. I could not believe it.

But your right, usually Baraga is cheapest.


By James-Il on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:11 am:

No, not the hut. I remember many meals there when we lived in the U.P. Nothing fancy but nice people and good food. Too bad, another Copper Country landmark closing. And one with charater as well.

By Connie, Ft. Belvoir VA on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:16 am:

Have a great wedding shower tomorrow at The Hut. Wish I could be there :-)
Sorry to see it close, they had the best chicken with a raspberry sauce.

By Mr. Bill on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:21 am:

umm ............ Hut fries made with rutabagas and onions. What a way to spiff up plain grilled eggs.

Great atmosphere and great folks. Where are the memories for todays kids going to come from, tomorrow ....

By HWP, WI on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:24 am:

The Hut was a special place....on the very rare occssions that a "TOOT" could find a date in the 70s, dinner at the Hut, after a day of sightseeing the peninsulla, was a treat.

Why is it closing? Is the property for good condition?

By Jean, Windy West Texas on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:29 am:

I cannot believe the Hut is closing....loved their french fries as a kid. Please tell me the Ambassador in Houghton remains open as I am looking forward to some pizza and a cold beer when I arrive on July the 2nd.......

By JIM SIIRA,MADISON HEIGHTS,MI. on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:41 am:


By Mr. Bill on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:48 am:

Jean, Windy West Texas -

The Ambassador's still open, and the pizza is still great. Replaced the "bar" last year with a new locally manufacturered, solid mahogany copy. Other than that, nothings changed.

By Mark from Kaleva and soon Calumet on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:03 am:

I have not been to the ambassador since Thurner's closed> I wonder how their sandwiches taste without the crusty bread?

Anyway, just went to the Century 21 North Country Agency to check prices

Old Burger King in Houghton $395,000
The Hut $349,900
Jims $250,000 with building $180,000 without
J.P.'s (Copper Kettle) $199,900
Evergreen (Parkside) $175,000

All for sale

Move Back to the U.P. and keep them going!!!

By Ginny on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:06 am:

Charlie-Thank you for the great memory of the Hut-Inn. I too remember going there in the summer after camp at Gitche Gumee. Great food, and I often felt like I was in some exotic restaurant surrounded by the unusual atmosphere. Too bad it is closing. I need the scoop on that. When I come to visit, that is usually a prime spot. My Mom really liked to go there,too.
Thanks again for the terrific web-site. It brings the UP a little closer to California.
My kids make fun of me checking out the PastyCam every day, but I NEED it!
Capt'ns dtr #3.

By Troll in Eagle Harbor on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:43 am:

The HUTT was a great place to eat and people watch...GOODBYE HUTT!

By Melissa, Lansing, MI on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:07 pm:

When I was up a couple of weeks ago the cheapest gas between the bridge and Houghton was in Ishpeming, beating Marquette and Baraga by a few cents.

Sorry to see the Hut close its door. They had great food and a great atmosphere.

By Kaitlyn, TN on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:35 pm:

I used to go to The Hutt with my family when we come up to Calumet to see my grandparents. It was a really good place, and i remember they had the wood sign that was made by a tree when you walk in and it can be in 2 halves, cause one time Ipused it over by accident, it was really embarassing. I dont know if any of you pay that much attention to the decorations like I did. hah

By Ace,Tx on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:41 pm:

So sorry to hear that the Hut is closing, grew up in Kearsarge & those frosted root beers on a hot summer day. Both of my brothers worked for Paul Hendrickson back in the 60's, it well be surely missed. Everyone have a great week-end & a safe one. Wish we could be there were it is cool!!!

By Go Lakes! on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 02:01 pm:

Lindell's in Lake Linden was for sale on E-Bay a few months ago for about $300,000..Has it been sold?

By In Alabama on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 02:56 pm:

With all these retaurants closeing, Calumet North and all for sale as they can't make it where do they come up with these prices? The former Sportsmens opened a short time this past winter, while purchased by the owner of the HUT and that closed within a few months. What isn't for sale - perhaps one of the local banks are now the owners of the closed restaurants?

By Bill, Ca. on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 03:03 pm:

Charlie, say it isn't so --- the HUT is closing !!!!!!!!! The Copper Country is changing too much. Where are we going to eat when we visit Calumet???
My memory of that place pre-dates the restaurant. There was a beautiful house on the property that reminded me of a castle. The Floeters lived there and I believe Mr. Floeter was the treasure of the Wolverine Mining Company at a much earlier time. The President of the company had lived across the road in what now is a Bed and Breakfast. One day in the early 50's the Floeter house was torn down and before long the restaurant was opened. They had the best hamburgers I had ever tasted.

After leaving the Copper Country my family always looked forward to returnig each year and we always visited the HUT. We are going to miss that place.

By Mel, Kansas on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 03:08 pm:

Wow, that's a shame. We'd go to the Hut whenever folks were visiting from downstate, just to show the place off to people. This means no more Danwich (my husband is very upset about this!), no more apple dumplings or veggie lasagna (my favorites). That's just *no* good.

Well, I guess if we got in the car right now and really went for it, we could be there before they shut their doors. But then... I'd have to miss a couple days of work, put 2,000 more miles on the car, pay out the nose for gas, etc. It's almost worth it though.

Hi to Melissa in Lansing!

By In Wi on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 03:22 pm:

NO MORE Thimbleberry torte...somebody grab the recipes on the way out will ya..

By Kosk in Toronto on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 04:40 pm:

I remember the thimbleberry torte too.
Our family also stopped by the Hut several
times over the last few decades. It will be
missed. Best of luck to the owners. I'm sure
they deserve a rest. How do they make that
torte? It was magnificent. A perfect dessert in
a beautiful part of the world.

By walter p tampa on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 04:50 pm:

sounds like the hut created a lot of grand memories it is sad that so many things pass into history

By Mary Lou on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 05:22 pm:

Doesn't the same family own Patrick's Pasty in Ahmeek?......Maybe they will have Timbleberry Tort on their menu........

By Andy M., Farmington Hills, MI on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 08:34 pm:

Not being from the UP my wife who is from Gay introduced me to the HUT, it became one of my favorite places. Will miss it.

By L. Hart, Santa Catalina Island, CA on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 08:45 pm:

This can't be happening! I'll be up there in three weeks and was looking forward to the traditional meal at The Hut. It was big part of our growing-up years and originally was a DRIVE-IN; our gang of teenagers would pull up in the car and be served our root beer and hamburgers on window trays in true 50's Happy Days style. My grandfather, John Rader (founder of Gitche Gumee camp) could not resist icecream, and would find any excuse to stop there with his grandkids
en route to Eagle River. I remember when it became a sit-down restaurant, and since then we have spent many happy hours enjoying that one-of-a kind place. I am crushed!

By Jo Ann in Iowa on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 08:49 pm:

Sure do hate to see the Hut close. It was built shortly after I graduated and left Calumet. Every time we'd get back home, the folks would take us to the Hut. It was my dad's favorite place. He knew most of the staff as he had many of them in school at one time or another. He liked to order a hamburger and a hot dog and it became "the Nobles Special". I don't think it ever appeared on the menu as such, but in the kitchen they knew what it was. Anyone out there old enough to remember that?

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:06 pm:

No one has answered why it's closing! I'm pretty sad to hear it's gone.

By Tricia, Calumet, MI on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 12:30 am:

Thanks Charlie for the heads up about the Hut. After
reading your post, we knew where we were going for lunch.

We will miss the Hut. It was our favorite restaurant. It had
it all...great food...great atmosphere...great people...We
only wish we could have gone there more.

By Shirley Laurin on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 01:01 am:

I was truly saddened by the news of The Hut closing. When we were teenagers, my friends and I would drive from Gay almost daily. My husband and I always stop there during our vacation every summer. The food was always great as well as the people. And it was fun to feel like we were back in the 50's. Boo-hoo-hoo!!!!

By GA, Michigan on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 02:00 am:

The reason its closing,

One anonymous individual's theory The ownership bought the old Country House and put the Hut down for collateral. After the Country House (or Patricks Pastys) closed there was no way to support both business with only one generating income. It's a shame because the Hut was a great old fashioned family restraunt. It will surely be missed. It is odd that every evening you drive by and the parking lot is full of cars, hungry people going in, and satisfied people coming out, yet its closing? There will be plenty of hungry people in Calumet...

By Doug Patrick on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 07:48 am:

From the owners of The Hut Inn:

Pat and I are as sorry as anyone else about the closing. we had tears in our eyes as we read the comments about our restaurant, a combinations of things lead to its closer. We need a rest after five years of providing meals to our friends, as we like to call our customers. I'm sure someone will buy the Hut and it will open again soon. Again we'd like to thank all our friends for their support. Many of the recipes for the Hut are in the newly published cookbook put out by the ladies auxillary of the Sherman Twsp fire department. We are going to remain in Gay where we live with our puppy Phantom. (162# puppy)lol. If you're in Gay stop and reminise with us. Thanks again for all of your support. Doug and Pat Patrick

By Connie, Ft. Belvoir VA on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 12:28 pm:

How can we get one of the Sherman Township cookbooks? The Evergreen (Parkside) too?! When did that close? I used to go there with my Dad for "coke and coffee" when it was Parkside. Darn!

By TLM on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 06:37 pm:

Connie -

The Evergreen might be for sale but it is still open.

By Phil and Susan Twin A Hart, Colorado on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 05:42 pm:

What a shame that the Hut will not be there for all of us to go and spend time. We always save time for a meal there and were planning on it on our next trip to the Keweenaw. We were there for a reunion with some of Susan's relatives last summer. Susan and I had our first date there almost 40 years ago when we both worked at Gitche Gumee for the summer. I can't believe it will be gone. I hope someone purchases it and keeps the atmosphere the same. It was great. Where we are from, $349,900 is a steal for such an establishment but not sure about up there.

By Marion, Michigan on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - 09:00 pm:

Any other 'Hut Gluts' out there feeling sad to hear this news? Remember all the messages posted on the back of the root beer barrel? How about a hamburger for 30 cents? We surely worked hard for that 50 cents/hour but enjoyed every minute of it. Good bye to another memory

By Joan, Stacy Minnesota on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 08:34 pm:

I will always remember in the 60's when I went with my Grandma and Grandpa Stevens from Houghton to their "cottage" on Gratiot Lake. It seemed like such a long ride... and Gram would suggest to me that I ask Gramps if we could stop at the HUT to eat (so she didn't have to cook when we got there.) He would always do what I wanted, so we stopped most of the time!! I too remember the cold root beer, and great burgers~!!
I have often made it a point to stop there with my family, and will miss it.

By Steve Jones on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - 06:21 pm:

A message from the old guitarist:

Well, this is a very unpleasant suprise, but like Doug said someone will buy it, that I am sure of as well. As long as whoever buys it doesn't change anything drastically, it would be a sure profit investment.

I played guitar at the Hut for 10 years (1991-2001). It was my dad's Idea really to go there and talk to Mike (owner at the time) about doing live music. I remember sitting in the Keweenaw room and playing a few tunes for him, and asking if he thought it might go over. The rest is history. I saw many people come and go through those doors, and I don't remember any unhappy ones! I'm actually a little ticked off, I really was looking forward to a French Dip and Cajun Fries when I come up this summer! Anyway, I just wanted to throw out a thank you to everyone who had anything to do with the Hut throughout my 10 years there, owners, patrons, employees. There were many good times, good tunes, a few wrong notes here and there, but I don't think too many people noticed. Thanks again, and remember there's always the CD "Steve & Rob" Live at the Hut to reminisce by! :)

By Mary Butala Long, Ecorse MI on Wednesday, June 9, 2004 - 11:36 pm:

OH MY GOD, I am just heart broken. I haven't been able to get to the UP in years but I grew up spending 2 to 3 weeks of my life up there at our grandparents house and our cabin.(which I have seen pictured here in the archives). I was planning on bringing my children up there for their first time this summer and that was one place on my list of places to take them. I told my husband all about the place. That is was the fanciest place on earth to get a great burger. I will miss it so much, but I understand as the passing of time, all good things must come to an end. YOU WILL BE MISSED...

By John Birk, Ladera Ranch, CA on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 08:11 pm:

Speaking of drive-ins, anyone remember the A&W in Osceola along US-41? It was real close to my grandpa's house, just across 41.

Nearby, one of my childhood memories of hanging out in my grandpa's house in the Copper Country was going into the "Biggest Little Museum" (or a name similar to that), which was also located near the A&W along highway 41. Inside were all kinds of antiques from the late 1800's, including functioning calliopes and other mechanical gadgets from that era. Also, I remember seeing pictures of freak show performers (Tom Thumb, etc.) from turn-of-the-century circuses. Anybody know what happened to all the stuff in that museum when it was closed years ago?

By mo, mi on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 02:04 pm:

Remember seeing Big Louie's clothes in the museum?Don't know what happened to all the stuff, but it would be interesting to find out. My parents sold them our player piano and it was displayed there for many years. It was the piano I practiced my first lessons on.

By Pauline in PA on Thursday, July 8, 2004 - 02:56 pm:

Can't believe The Hut Inn is closing. I worked there for a couple of years. I either was doing the dishes in the back, cleaning and vacuuming the place or taking care of Paul's two big beautiful dogs (I forget what breed). It was my first real job. It's hard to believe that you won't be able to stop there on your way home from the Harbor that was inexpensive but a quaint little inn. The milkshakes were great and so were the banana-cream pies!
I'll miss it!

By the cook on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 04:20 pm:

Thimbleberry Torte--bake two round 8 inch dark chocolate cakes. Cool,top bottom cake with thimbleberry jam. Put top cake on and frost with whipped cream. Easy, I should know, made hundreds of them there. P.S. cakes were made from scratch. Mike, you should have never sold the HUT!!!

By MIke Mattila on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 04:07 pm:

The Hutt will be missed. My grandma was Paul Hendrickson relation. It truly was a family atmosphere and great place to eat. I have eaten there many times with friends I have brought with me from downstate and everyone always loved it. I hope it reopens soon, I am hungry.

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