News from the Greater Munising Area: The Bear Trap reopens with new owners

JAYMIE DEPEW "I hope for 2021 we are collectively inspired and healthy enough to not only improve ourselves but the communities we live in."

The Bear Trap, a beloved restaurant in Alger County located at the junction of H-58 and H-15 near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, reopened on March 31 under new ownership. Frank and Lana Heyrman, who owned the business for the last 38 years, retired in January after selling it to Krey and Dawn Gordon.

Upon opening last week, the Heyrmans were two of the Gordons first customers.

“Frank and Lana came in for breakfast the day we opened and have been so wonderful and helpful ever since we bought the Bear Trap,” Dawn said. “Everyone in the community has been supportive and welcoming, too, even other business owners. People in the U.P. are just so real and genuine, it’s really what drew us here. We love the area, the people, and being in this environment.”

Hailing from the Lower Peninsula, the Gordons have vacationed in Alger County for over 20 years as avid snowmobilers. Since the Bear Trap is located next to the trail system, the couple became well acquainted with the restaurant over the years.

“We’ve eaten at the Bear Trap about 30 or 40 times. Honestly, probably even more than that,” Krey laughed. “We bought property in the Munising area three years ago. That was when we actually first started coming here in the summer.”

Shortly after buying their property, the Gordons yearned to call the Upper Peninsula their permanent home and said it was fate after discovering one of their favorite local restaurants was up for sale.

“We both love to cook and I’m a people person. I love visiting with everyone in the front,” Dawn said, noting she and Krey both have had experience in the service industry. “We most recently worked in the corporate world in managerial type of roles.”

After the sale finalized at the end of January, the Gordons and their employees hit the ground running and began enhancing a few things at the restaurant. So far, they’ve upgraded kitchen equipment and removed the old booths, which will be replaced by locally made tables and have USB charging units nearby. Though, I’m happy to report that the taxidermy animals are still mounted on the walls.

“We have no desire to get rid of them because they’re a part of the Bear Trap,” Krey said. “Some of the owners of the mounts have actually come in and asked if we wanted them to take them back. We told them we’d like to keep them if they were okay with it.”

They’ve also added four beer taps with the goal of expanding to eight (they currently have ByGeorge Brewing Company’s Nighthawk on draft), and also offer drinks like mimosas and sangrias. However, the food menu has largely remained the same.

“We plan to add a few breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials but the core menu will be the same. We don’t plan on changing that any time soon,” Dawn said. “We still have Frank’s breakfast special and probably won’t ever take that off the menu. We’ll add and tweak things here and there, but that’s about it.”

When asked about what they’re looking forward to in the future, Dawn replied: “Being a part of the community and holding horseshoe and pool leagues in the future.”

Krey added, “We’d like to have corn hole leagues or tournaments, too, and revive the stage outside and have live bands eventually.”

“The goal is to entertain inside and out and have a comfortable atmosphere for good food and spirits,” Dawn told me, and I, for one, can’t wait to see it all unfold. I, however, would be remiss if I didn’t take this time to also wish Frank and Lana Heyrman a happy retirement. My first job was washing dishes at the Bear Trap and aside from their wonderful sense of humor and wit, the thing I’ve admired most is how they’ve treated anyone who worked for them over the years like family. It takes a great team and passion for a business to operate like a well-oiled machine and that’s something to be proud of. The time has come to pass along that torch, though, and I have no doubt in my mind that the Gordons will flourish.

The Bear Trap is currently open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., every day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jaymie Depew is the communications and special project assistant for the Alger County Chamber of Commerce/Greater Munising Bay Partnership for Commerce Development, Munising Downtown Development Authority and Munising Visitors Bureau.


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