The newest restaurant in Downtown Marquette is open and ready for business.
Located in the old Blue Lounge on the top floor of 145 W. Washington Street, the 906 Sports Bar & Grill has slowly been changing over to the new set up adding in tables, televisions and a kitchen to create what manager Kurt Ghiardi says is the ultimate sports fan experience.
“We changed up the décor and brought the sports thing in,” Ghiardi said. “Every seat in here you can watch one or two TV’s.”
The 906 now has 12 televisions and additional seating in the lower level of the floor space. There is only one pool table instead of two and the dartboards have been moved to the DJ booth.
However, the big change is from the night-life location to restaurant. The 906 is open now every day at 11 a.m., nine hours before the Blue Lounge’s opening time.
“People had never seen (the 906) during the day and our vision was to provide that to the community,” Ghiardi said. “To get them up here, you have to provide the restaurant aspect.”
The 906 has a 54-item menu, including a kid’s menu and dessert options. French fries and onion rings are treated equally on the appetizer menu, but in combo baskets they can be served together with two half-orders of each.
They will also enter two of Marquette’s most competitive food markets: Buffalo wings and fish fry. The fish and chips are available at any time, with beer-battered cod, slaw and fries or onion rings. For wings, the 906 has two sauces – traditional or golden – but both have three heat profiles – mild, medium or hot.
The staple dishes for the 906 will be their burgers and focaccias – which make up just over half of the menu between the two sandwich types. Named after high school mascots of the Upper Peninsula, the 906 uses three different kind of rolls to handle the different styles of burger. Some of the burgers are also stuffed with other items like cheese or pepperoni. Stuffed burgers are a popular trend in dining nationally, but not seen in Marquette until now.
The dessert menu is limited to just three items: a root beer float, vanilla ice cream and the headlining cookie skillet. In either chocolate chip or white chocolate macadamia nut, the cookie is spread along a cast iron skillet, baked in the oven and topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
The most expensive item is the chop salad or Quiggs Burger – both at $9.95. Most items range from $7.95-$8.95.
To provide the dining options, the 906 set up a kitchen in the dart room. Ghiardi said most of the equipment was custom made for the space, but that a kitchen was a natural fit for that space.
“I think some of the former owners had an idea of turning it into a restaurant but never got around to it,” Ghiardi said. “It had a window cut out for a natural food window, so people can see the hood and see the people cooking the food and preparing your food.”
The 906 joined Facebook on May 15 before it made its first public appearance at the Blueberry Festival on July 25. UP Second Wave then reported on the change from Blue Lounge to 906 on July 30. It wasn’t until August 16 that the Blue Lounge made it’s final appearance.
The night life aspect will not completely go away as some of the same activities and promotions will stick through the transition, including country music night on Thursdays and live bands on Saturdays. But with the added sports focus, Ghiardi expects Sundays to be big during football season.