CADILLAC — Steaks, seafood and Italian fare will be on the menu Thursday night at the Dockside Inn's grand opening.
Though owner Michael Blackmer had hoped to open the new restaurant in March, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the restaurant's delayed opening.
But the time has come.
"Reservations are coming in pretty strong for Thursday and Friday," Blackmer said. "So we're excited."
Blackmer and Chef Sean Frawley said they had to compete with unemployment to get staff to sign on but they're pleased with the workers they've hired and have spent the last several days training them.
Sam Gibson, formerly of the Sunrise Lake Bar (her family's business, which closed just before the COVID-19 pandemic came to Michigan), said she's ready to get back to work.
"I'm good with just being a waitress," she said. "I'm excited for the deck to open. I think we're gonna pull in a lot of good people. We have a super crew."
With social distancing seating arrangements, Blackmer estimated the restaurant, located at 2404 Sunnyside Drive in the former Marina restaurant, could accommodate 70 patrons.
More, later this summer, when the restaurant's deck opens up. A pavilion is also in the works.
Initially, the Dockside Inn will be open for dinner and Sunday brunch, though Frawley expects to serve lunch later this month.
For now, the restaurant will open at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and on Monday. It will open at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays for brunch specials. The Dockside Inn will be closed on Tuesdays.
Some of the final details were still being arranged when the Cadillac News visited on Tuesday; Frawley said he expected the certificate of occupancy to be issued later that day, though the liqour license was already hanging on the wall.
The launch will include the full menu. Frawley wasn't anticipating any trouble getting meat, unlike some other restaurants, due to contracts with their suppliers.
Frawley showed the Cadillac News a draft of the restaurant's menu. There are multiple options under each section (starters, salads, sides, premium sides, beverages, steak, seafood, Italian, "chicken and more.") Pasta and chicken entrees are all under $20, even with an added protein. Seafood is $16-22. Steaks range from $20 to $60 and are hand-cut.