Business Profile The Buckhorn Saloon

October 29, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Last March Michael Julliet and Lee Trent became the new owners of the historic Buckhorn Saloon on M-115 between Farwell and Marion. The bar and restaurant is located 12.6 miles northwest of Farwell and 17.7 miles northwest of Clare – or just 12.3 miles south and a little east of Marion.

“This is our dream,” Lee said when they bought the business. “We’ve both been in the business for so many years. We wanted to be owners.”

With the help of two silent co-partners from Tustin, they realized their dream last spring. The couple moved south from Cheboygan where they were managers of the “Dirty Duck” and “Downtown Johnnies” there.

Michael and bar mascot the Michigan Dogman.

Michael and bar mascot the mythical Michigan Dogman.

Michael and Lee immediately began making improvements to the 71 year old Buckhorn which was built, and opened by original owners Shirley and Lyle Dagett and then owned later by Shirley and Bill Johnson for more than 30 years.

They have developed a brand new menu featuring oven baked subs, homemade and hand-dipped appetizers including onion rings, deep fried mushrooms, Crab Rangoon, jalapeno poppers and new specialty pizzas.

They have added a second pizza oven for faster service because the Buckhorn is famous for their pizza. They are also know for a delicious Friday night fish fry and they provide entertainment every other weekend during the summer.

More updates are planned. In January they will be remodeling the kitchen, adding new carpeting, and renovating the bathrooms. Next spring they are planning to add a patio for outdoor seating.

Something else that is new at the Buckhorn is an eight foot sculpture of the Michigan Dogman, carved by Mark Stranaly, “The commissioned carver.”  The “Dogman mascot watches over the customers from a corner of the dining area, along with a life-size bear also on display in the dining room.

Michael and Lee are getting more involved with the community. In August they sponsored the first stop of a poker run to raise funds for a young cancer patient in the area. “It was a great success,” Michael said.

Michael standing in the spacious interior of the Buckhorn.

Michael standing in the spacious interior of the Buckhorn.

Now they are teaming up with their food distributor and a local organization to sponsor future fundraisers for needy families each month beginning in November. They plan to donate a portion of the month’s sales of a special featured item every month (except during January when the business will be remodeled).

The Buckhorn is open seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday; and from noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday. (Closing time may be earlier depending on customers – call the Buckhorn for hours.)

Give them a call at 231-734-5599. Or visit their website at or check them out on Facebook at buckhornsaloonmi. Their website includes an email address and employment applications.

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