The historic Vierling Restaurant has been a focal point in downtown Marquette for over one hundred years. Located on the corner of Front and Main Streets, the building was originally owned by Martin Vierling. It has had a variety of other names and proprietors over the years, but it has remained a place to meet, talk business, relax and celebrate.
Martin Vierling first moved to Marquette in 1862. Six years later, he established himself in the retail liquor business. Within the year the store was destroyed in the memorable fire of 1868 which razed almost the entire downtown business section. Vierling rebuilt on the corner of Lake Street and Baraga Avenue. However, this second location proved to be less than satisfactory. The iron ore boom was in full swing and gentlemen found the proximity of the ore docks to be unfashionable. In 1883 Vierling again relocated his saloon, the third and final move, to the corner of Front and Main.
On this corner the business prospered until Martin’s retirement in 1890, at which time he turned the business over to his son Louis. The “Gay Nineties” found Louis conducting a brisk business and hosting many of the towns celebrated events. One such occasion was the dedication of Marquette’s new street car. Unfortunately, the street car derailed at the orphanage, delaying its arrival, but not the celebration. The street car finally arrived downtown, hours late and just in time to take the towns dignitaries safely home.
The Vierling Saloon also had a “Sample Room,” a necessity back in those days for any establishment wishing to cater to female clientele. By having a separate room apart from the saloon area, woman who were escorted in and out could enjoy a meal and drink or “sample.”
The Vierling continued operations until 1917 when prohibition closed its doors. After that a string of businesses operated from this location.
On January 1, 1985, the cafe on the corner of Front and Main Streets was purchased by Kristi and Terry Doyle. They closed the cafe and after nine months of restoration reopened as the Historic Vierling Saloon & Sample Room, complete with original stained glass and oil paintings from Martin Vierling’s collection! Full renovation with close attention to historic detail, including a one hundred year old oak bar and large windows overlooking the lower harbor make the Vierling Restaurant one of Marquette’s most enjoyable dining spots.
With an emphasis on “fresh and homemade,” the Vierling offers an extensive lunch and dinner menu. There is a variety of daily specials and they feature fresh Lake Superior Whitefish, homemade soups, salad dressing and desserts. A well-stocked wine cellar is an added attraction!
In Dec. 1995, the Vierling became one of Michigan’s first brew pubs with the addition of a five barrel micro-brewing system. The brew equipment, direct from Budapest, Hungary is configured to produce some of the finest ales and lagers in 155 gallon hand-crafted batches. The relatively small sized batches of beer insures a fast product turn-over which enables the Vierling to serve the freshest beer possible with a multitude of varieties.