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Patrons Make a "Butter Run" to the Old-Style Saloon

The owner of the Butter Run Saloon at 11 Mile and Harper - which is named after the stop at a local tavern the men in his family would make after grocery shopping - opened for business Monday morning.

The doors to the newest "corner bar" in St. Clair Shores were opened Monday and the community came out to the new Butter Run Saloon.

Monday was the first day of business after an extensive 18-month project to renovate and turn a vacant, dilapidated, cinder block building at the southeast corner of Harper and 11 Mile roads into a modern bar and restaurant with classic saloon-feel.

The bar was the vision of David Harden, who named the bar after the "butter run" the men in his family would make to a local grocery store that would include a stop at a local tavern.

"I wanted it to be something that is different and unique," said Harden, of the bar which features antiques from St. Clair Shors and Detroit-businesses next to state-of-the-art flat screen televisions.

Renovations to Butter Run's building included the addition of windows, a brick exterior and a new interior which includes a hand-made bar by Harden.

"Everything you see here, I've done," said Harden, who grew up in the Shores and returned to open a new business. "It's well worth it. The community will have something new and different."

During the first day of business, the saloon already had a neighborhood-feel as customers congratulated Harden and tried sandwiches and salads off a limited menu. Beers were available by bottle and can, along with the large selection of wine, scotch and whisky.

The full-menu, which will include daily specials, dry-aged prime rib and a fresh catch and a custom-blend burger made with five different cuts of steak from Fairway Packing in Eastern Market, is expected to be available next month.

Butter Run's full-kitchen, and beer cooler for the 19 beers on tap, should be open by Dec. 1, Harden said.

The 64-seat Butter Run Saloon will be open 7:30 - 2 a.m. Monday - Friday, 8 - 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Butter Run will also be open Thanksgiving Day.

Michael Capaldi November 22, 2012 at 03:01 AM
It is truly wonderful to enjoy the hard work and craftsmanship that this saloon has evolved to. We have had a great time this week with friends and family experiencing this place. The limited menu and libations are truly just a prelude to a great selection of food and spirits to come. Dave has an already seasoned staff that have given great service. We can't wait for the finishing touches. This is our new local saloon hangout. Good luck to you!
Marilyn Girard December 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I just got home from the Butter Run...took 1 hour to get 2 flat pops...a beer that was in a bottle and I was not offered a glass...a cup of beef barley soup that tasted musty like a cottage...with unwrapped crackers thrown on the plate...1/2 of a corned beef sandwich that was so tough it couldn't be eaten...and a hamburger that wouldn't have been bad but it was thrown on the plate like garbage...but once I put it back together it was OK... We complained to the owner...after we argued with the waitress to go get him...and he did cover our bill...asked us to come back but it was just too awful...and it's a really small place and they need to turn the music down a bit...on the plus side...I live in the neighborhood and they made the outside very cute...

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