Imagine this - a cool breeze off the water, the sun shining down, a delicious cocktail, and some freshly fried walleye on the table with the sound of music lingering in the air. That’s the kind of night that awaits you at the Octopus’ Beer Garden in Mt. Clemens.
“It’s kind of got a bit of a Florida, you’re on vacation, just no worries in the world [kind of feel],” says Bob Halaas, the owner.
Halaas has been in the restaurant industry for a long time, owning and operating three different restaurants with his family, all of which were named after his love of The Beatles.
“Strawberry Fields was our first Beatles-themed restaurant, and when we decided it was time to move on from that, we weren’t sure what the new restaurant’s name was going to be. My wife came up with Penne Lane, the flip side of Strawberry Fields. When this place became available, we were tossing names back and forth and it was actually a friend of my daughter’s who threw Octopus’ Beer Garden out there, and it was ‘Ahhhh!’ and here we are,” explains Halaas.
But perhaps the coolest part of the whole place is that you are actually on the water. The main part of the restaurant is on a 1945 barge. They added a second barge for additional seating and put floating decks around the outside for an extended patio. There is also a floating stage for live music and a slip to dock your boat.
The menu Halaas created perfectly fits the atmosphere. It has lots of seafood options, including some Michigan favorites like Perch and Walleye. They also have what he terms “Midwestern comfort food in the summertime.” Think creamy mac and cheese topped with pretzels, and cajun steak bites with caramelized onions served over big hunks of toast. They also have a selection of craft beers and cocktails to pair with it.
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Octopus’ Beer Garden is located at 152 N River Road in Mt. Clemens.