Grates of Mackinac Bridge incorporated in restaurant décor

MARQUETTE — Iron Bay Restaurant and Drinkery has been open for a couple months now in the city of Marquette, but the owners are now adding some additional features to tie back to the restaurant’s original heritage.

Grates from the Mackinac Bridge were recently purchased and will be used in the future tap room as tabletops. Half of the grates were spray painted to match the original shade of green while others will be kept rustic.

The restaurant itself along with the building have some strong ties back to the Mackinac Bridge.

“It’s really exciting because the Mackinac Bridge has a number of tie-ins to this restaurant, specifically to this building. Daniel Merritt, who was the founder of Iron Bay Foundry, his family was very involved in the original iron ore industry. In 1953, they were awarded one of the first contracts to build the Mackinac Bridge. They put in all the foundation and underwater stuff. There’s a connection between this place, this building, and the Merritts, along with the Ore Dock and the Mackinac Bridge,” said Iron Bay Restaurant and Drinkery Co-Owner, Joe Constance.

The tap room is expected to open in a couple weeks, after all the grates have been completed. The restaurant is also continuing to work on their goal of minimizing waste by giving all food scraps to a local farm.

“That’s a local farmer from Gwinn that we supply his pigs and chickens with food. We put them in five gallon buckets and we fill up as many buckets a day and he takes them out,” said Constance.

Constance mentioned that the restaurant plans to keep the waste cycle down while also supporting livestock growth.