After 19 years Dinghy's has established itself as one of the best local eateries Up North. Steve Christian has been owner of Dinghy's for the past 14 years. Customers come from far and wide to enjoy the experience at Dinghy's. Formerly Baker's Bar – for 40 years – Dinghy's is a landmark in Downtown Frankfort, in beautiful Benzie County , Michigan.
We pride ourselves on serving high quality and great tasting menu items made from the freshest ingredients, obtained from local sources when available. Dinghy's has become famous for the meats that we cook in our own smoker using local hardwoods. In the early years we began serving only ribs and pulled pork bar-b-que sandwiches from our smoker. Over the last few years we have added bar-b-que chicken, huge turkey legs, and brisket served as an entree or as a French dip sandwich. This year, we introduced our newest menu item from our in-house smoker: chicken wings.
Meal after meal, we can promise you consistently great food at a reasonable price. We are also confident that we have the best staff in the area. All of our servers are well experienced and possess the knack for making everyone feel like members of the Dinghy's extended family. They love what they do, and it shows.
The nautical theme of the restaurant highlights the history of the ferry boat fleet that steamed out of Frankfort harbor. The old car ferry signs that hang from the ceiling mark the days when those great ships sailed between the harbors of Michigan , Illinois and Wisconsin . Stained glass over the entry windows add to the nautical theme.
Several old maritime maps and photos adorn the walls, along with fish mounts that call attention to Frankfort 's Charter fishing fleet and the quality outdoor experience that abounds in Benzie County . Behind the bar hangs the World Record Brown Trout caught on a 10 lb. line right across the street in Betsie Lake .
The photo at the top of this page shows our owner and managers who are committed to ensuring your visit to Dinghy's will be a most pleasant and enjoyable experience. Starting (left to right) with Steve, who is entering his 13th year of ownership ; next is “Chaz” Sessoms, our Master Chef and Kitchen Manager; then "Princess" Kelly Sandman our R estaurant M anager and also our head cheerleader; and Bob Knechtges, our Bar Manager who has been pouring beer in this house for longer than any of us want to admit.
With the renovations we completed in the winter of 2011 – 2012, the walls and the ceilings have been repaired and painted and a new bar has been built. The old bar, in spite of its history, had reached the end of its useful life. All of the old chairs and bar stools, as well as each section of bar, have all found good homes where we have been granted visitation rights. The new bar was constructed from the ground up with an oak structure and a top made of cherry wood cut from the hills of Crystal Lake . As you can see, the workmanship is outstanding. The new shelving unit at the end of the bar displays the wide assortment of Dinghy's t-shirts – long sleeved and short-sleeved – and our new Dinghy's logo glassware.
The owner, Steve Christian, is actively involved in the community as President of the Frankfort Elberta Chamber of Commerce, President of the non-profit Crystal Lake Sailing School , and as a member of the Boards of Directors of two companies in Frankfort . Additionally, Dinghy's gives back to the community in the form of charitable donations equal to 2.5% of the restaurant's net income.
Please stop in for a friendly “Welcome!” and enjoy the best food around.
"If you have a major hankerin' for a Friday Night all - you - can - eat fish fry, Dinghy's Restaurant & Bar will fill up your tummy without depleting your wallet. You have license to pig out on the fish fry, but my first plate was filled to capacity. Those who want to splurge might consider the walleye special an excellent deal. Next time I'm in, I'm going to give those meaty-looking ribs a whirl, they smelled divine!"
Patty LaNoue Stearns, Traverse Magazine
"...stop by any day of the week to this Frankfort staple for award winning barbeque and tasty pulled pork sandwiches..."
"...the ambience of this dining establishment is sure to delight the entire family. "
Shoreline Visitors Guide Fall/Winter 2008/09