The restaurant space on the corner of West Third Street and State Street in Harbor Springs has seen several owners in its past, but Steve McDiarmid and his new cocktail lounge One Thirty Eight are looking to stick around.
“I think the community is excited,” said McDiarmid. “Our goal is to be here to stay, to be here as long as they let us.”
McDiarmid, who is originally from Metro Detroit, has over 20 years in the food and hospitality management business. When it came to figuring out One Thirty Eight, McDiarmid said it was all about the space.
“I look at the space and I figure it out from there,” said McDiarmid. “This was a really beautiful build out, I didn’t feel the need to change a lot of it, but I thought we needed to put our touches on it.”
The space which previously belonged to Colin’s Corner Cafe, then Sprout, did undergo some minor renovations to complete McDiarmid’s vision including installing a new bar and changes in the outdoor seating areas. Steve says creating the right atmosphere was really important for One Thirty Eight.
“We wanted to create a lounge atmosphere outside versus just tables and chairs,” said McDiarmid. “Having two fire pits and a stand-up six-top bar in the very back, and just creating a couple lounge and gathering areas.”
The whiskey forward bar not only serves a wide variety of cocktails, beers and wines, but small bites and shareable foods as well. The bar uses an adaptable chalkboard menu for their foods and cocktails that changes and evolves along with the availability of locally sourced foods and ingredients.
One Thirty Eight’s Head Chef Rosie Belanger said her food is all about getting people to try new things.
“I try to keep it (the menu) as fresh as possible, as new as possible, and out of the comfort zone that Northern Michigan can get stuck in,” said Belanger.
Belanger said One Thirty Eight has been a great venue to express her culinary skills.
“I’m very lucky to have this much freedom,” said Belanger. “The menu has been working out really well, the feedback is shocking but in the best way possible.”
Locals and visitors alike are excited to have a new place in town to enjoy Harbor Springs nightlife.
Santiago Martinez said he’s excited for a new place to go out in town.
“I visit Harbor every summer to visit my girlfriend,” said Martinez. “There’s not many fun date night places in town so I was excited for One Thirty Eight for sure.”
Jake Iverson, a Harbor Springs local, said something like One Thirty Eight is exactly what Harbor Springs needs.
“The more bars the better,” said Iverson. “I’m glad it’s (One Thirty Eight) here and I think a lot of the younger people in town will be too.”
To find out more about One Thirty Eight and menu options you can visit its website.