Michigan’s Best Local Eats: 7 miles from MIS, Artesian Wells grills up a NASCAR Reuben

Michigan’s Best Local Eats: 7 miles from MIS, Artesian Wells grills up a NASCAR Reuben

IRISH HILLS, MI – Artesian Wells Sports Tavern is filled with rich history, but it’s also filled with great vibes and food.

Nestled in the Irish Hills, near Jackson and just seven miles from Michigan International Speedway, the location got its start as a popular watering hole on the old Chicago trail as settlers came to the area in the 1800s.

A lunchroom that eventually turned into a restaurant was opened on the site in 1920. Current owner Tom Carey took over ownership in 2000 and created a new, modern building he named Artesian Wells Sports Tavern.

“We wanted a place where people could hang out,” Carey said. “There really isn’t a place in this area to go watch any games, so we put more of a sports theme on it.”

Patrons also can find a wide variety of American-style food on the menu, including burgers, sandwiches, fish and salads.

The riblet basket is the biggest seller, Carey said. It’s a full pound of house smoked riblets with a choice of barbecue sauce and is served with fries and coleslaw.

The “NASCAR Racing” Reuben is also a popular choice of customers. It’s made from house-braised corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and 1000 island dressing served on rye bread.

People also enjoy the 24 beers on tap, Carey said.

Features, such as a large outdoor patio, large indoor dining area and motorcycles, are also popular, he said.

Artesian Wells Sports Tavern, 18711 US12, is open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 am to 10 pm Thursday through Saturday.

More information can be found on its Facebook page and website.

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