Frick’s Sports Bar is now re-open for business in Midland

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After a couple of long years, a Midland culinary landmark is once again open for business.

Frick’s Sports Bar had a soft opening on Wednesday. Its grand opening is Friday.

Frick’s has a longstanding tradition in Midland. The building, located at 4408 N. Saginaw Road, was built in 1926. It was originally known as Johnson’s restaurant until Francis “Frick” and Alta Smith bought the building in 1955. The establishment quickly became known as “Frick’s place” and was open until 2020.

Kurt Busard and Jeff Rekeweg eventually bought the business in 2021 with plans to renovate and reopen the restaurant. Rekeweg is also the executive director of the Greater Midland Tennis Center. Busard recently worked for Downtown Restaurant Investments.

“It means the world to me and Jeff to have the place open,” Busard said. “We put our heart and our souls into it.”

Renovations included installing new wood flooring, repainting the exterior, revamping the kitchen and installing brand-new bathrooms. Today arcade games and cornhole boards populate the back of the dining room. Fifteen TVs are spaced throughout the building, showing a variety of sports channels. Sports apparel from local schools will adorn the walls alongside pictures taken by area photographer Robert Spears.

“It has all that local flair,” Busard said.

The bar serves draft, bottled and canned beers as well as a small selection of wines and mocktails. The menu features Mexican fare, a variety of smash burgers and appetizers including poutine, jalapeno poppers, chicken tenders and tater tots.

Customers will be able to enter at the back of the building while the front and side entrances will be restricted to employees. Busard explained the change will improve traffic flow. The restaurant can fit 260 people.

Regular patrons might notice a few remnants of the former Frick’s business, including the seven billiard tables and plaid carpet by the fireplace.

Ken Hoffman of Midland came with his family, including his dad John Hoffman, on Wednesday to have lunch and support Busard, who is their neighbor. Ken, who came to Frick’s Bar to socialize with friends before it closed, appreciated the local hometown feel of the former version.

“It’s different. I love it,” Ken said, adding it has a refreshed feel. “I like the soft seating and all the games. Before it was a cool bar, but now it’s newer.”

John, also a Midland resident, used to come to Frick’s to play billiard and was impressed with the new look.

“I like the restaurant feel of it now,” he said. “It’s still got the games for everybody to play. It’s more family oriented.”

Leading up to the grand opening, Frick’s will host several special events. A family and friends VIP night was held Tuesday while a Northwood Night took place Wednesday. The bar will be open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. for “Thirsty Thursday.” The grand opening is set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.

The fun will continue through the end of the week with a dance club on Saturday and a game day on Sunday. The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and 12 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday.

“The community response has been unbelievable,” Busard stated. “My phone and my email have been on fire over the past month as people know we’ve been getting closer. People are just excited that we’ve taken an iconic building and given it a new face, a new life.”

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