Over the last 20 years Dinghy's has established itself as one of the best local eateries Up North. Customers come from far and wide to enjoy the experience at Dinghy's - a landmark in Downtown Frankfort, in beautiful Benzie County, Michigan.
We pride ourselves on serving high quality and great tasting menu items made from scratch with the freshest ingredients, obtained from local sources when available. Dinghy's has become famous for the meats that we cook in our own smoker using local hardwoods. We now offer six smoked meats on our menu: ribs, pulled pork bar-b-q, brisket, chicken halves, turkey legs and chicken wings. Meal after meal, day after day, we can promise consistently great food at a reasonable price. We are also confident that we have the best staff in the area. All of our servers are well experienced and possess the knack for making everyone feel like a member of the Dinghy’s extended family. They love what they do, and it shows.
The nautical theme of the restaurant highlights the history of the ferry boat fleet that steamed out of Frankfort harbor for 90 years, ending in 1982. The old car ferry signs that hang from the ceiling were taken from the pilot houses of those ferry boats and mark the days when those great ships sailed between the harbors of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Beautiful hand-crafted stained glass windows above the entry add to the nautical theme. For a great read on the history of the ferry boat fleet see Grant Brown's Niney Years Crossing Lake Michigan.
Several old maritime maps and photos adorn the walls, along with fish mounts that call attention to Frankfort’s charter fishing fleet and the quality outdoor experience that abounds in Benzie County. Behind the bar hangs the World Record Brown Trout caught on a 10 lb. line right across the street in Betsie Lake.
To enhance the customer experience, we undertook major renovations in the winter of 2011-2012, with the new bar as our crowning achievement. The new bar was constructed from the ground up with a base made of sturdy oak, and then topped with cherry wood cut from the hills of Crystal Lake. The workmanship is outstanding. The new shelving at the end of the bar displays the wide assortment of Dinghy’s t-shirts, baseball hats, and our logo glasses.
Entering his 16th season, our owner, Steve Christian, is actively involved within the community as President of the Frankfort Elberta Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the Chamber's Foundation, and as a member of the Board of Directors of two companies based in Frankfort. Under Steve’s direction, community service is a priority for Dinghy’s. We give back to the community in the form of charitable donations to non-profit organizations in Benzie County – with a focus on the Frankfort and Elberta communities – equal to 2.5% of the restaurant’s net income.