Sleder’s Family Tavern, Traverse City, 10/2/21


Sleder’s Family Tavern, in Slabtown, is Michigan’s oldest continuously-operated restaurant. It began when a Bohemian immigrant named Vencil Sleder wanted to build a tavern where men could relax after work.  Louie Sleder (1909-1993) and his mother turned the place into a ‘good will’ business.  Prior to 1930 women weren’t allowed in the barroom with its 21 foot solid mahogany sided and cherry wood bar and 12 foot ornate stamped tin ceiling, so they entered through a special back room door.  After 1930 they opened up both rooms to all.  It was sold in 1975 to the Classens who re-finished the woodwork and added a Victorian-styled side porch that is popular for private parties.  It was sold again in 1992 to the Cairns who held their own wedding there and now their son and daugther- in-law own it.  Numerous hunting trophies line the wall, in particular the moose named Randolph that you kiss for good luck.  The history in the place is amazing but the food is good too.

Frankie admired the woodwork
new addition
old photo of it
Frankie checked out the bar
old photo of it
back room, probably where ladies gathered prior to 1930
Randolph the moose is correct for Covid
Frankie looked at the stuffed animals
beaver in the front window


Food and Beverage

menu 2
drinks 2

We enjoyed a couple tap beers and ordered sandwiches for lunch.

Frankie and some tap beer


All sandwiches are served with chips and on white, rye or wheat bread.  The Club Sandwich was with ham, turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on white bread.  The sandwich was nicely stuffed with crunchy bacon and a good amount of mayo.  All the ingredients were good quality and made for a great blend.  The chips were a thick plain chip – a perfect accompaniment to a fine sandwich.

club sandwich and chips
Frankie pointed out the condiments


The Royal Reuben was made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and special dressing on rye.  It was a well balanced set of ingredients with enough dressing to enhance the flavor of all.  It was also well stuffed and very tasty.  I really like Reubens and this was one of the betters ones I’ve had.  It came with a crisp pickle slice on the side.

Reuben sandwich and chips
Frankie in an old phone booth

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