CEDAR RIVER, Mich. (WJMN) — With the long drives we’re often faced with in the U.P., there are destined to be countless places you wonder about, but always pass by without stopping. This week we’re highlighting a restaurant that is no stranger to hearing comments about that from first-time patrons, and it could be your new favorite destination between A and B.

Picture this – you’re behind the wheel on a sunny afternoon going from Marquette to Green Bay. You could take US-131 down through Iron Mountain or M-35 along the lakeshore. Depending on where you are, one is shorter for you than the other… but only one has a place sitting there, waiting for you right in-between — and that’s the Halfway Bar & Grill.

If the name sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that. Bar owner Chelsea Fernstrum-Doll is the granddaughter of Albert Doll, the man who ran Al’s Halfway Bar. Fernstrum-Doll says it was a popular hangout for Michigan Tech students in the 1970s, and the hospitality streak in her family runs even deeper than that. She also told us her uncle operated the Nutini Supper Club in Houghton.

Al’s halfway didn’t last forever, but after a big decision to return to her roots in the Upper Peninsula, Fernstrum-Doll jumped in with both feet at the chance to carry on the family tradition.

Now rumor is Al’s Halfway was named such because it sat between Houghton and Atlantic Mine. While Chelsea’s bar is a perfect midpoint between marquette and green bay, the restaurant’s menu will tell you it gets its name for being right between Escanaba and Menominee. 

The bar is working on a new menu with more seafood and steak dishes, and if you stop by during the right time of year you can swing in before or after renting a kayak right across the street.

One thing you can mark on your calendar is their Halloween costume party on the 28th. They will be transforming their outdoor space into a spooky speakeasy for the occasion, and you can find out what they’re planning for more events on their Facebook page.

Any time of year, whether you’re passing by along M-35 or pulling in for a fun night out, Chelsea says you’ll fit right in at the Halfway Bar and Grill in Cedar River. “We get a wide variety of people here, it’s awesome.”