Who Else Misses The Great Lakes Shipping Company in Kalamazoo?
The people of Kalamazoo seem to be missing a specific restaurant this week: The Great Lakes Shipping Company.
Now I, as someone new-ish to the Kalamazoo area, don't share the same sense of nostalgia for certain places that may no longer be around. But, judging from the local reactions to The Great Lakes Shipping Company's closing...it sounds like I missed out on a fantastic restaurant.
Recently, in the Facebook group Vanished Kalamazoo, Connie W. posted:
One of the places we miss most is Great Lakes Shipping Company. Best restaurant in town!!! We are the second couple in the video. A family tradition to work there. It started with me and my husband in high school in 1979 and our kids joined 35 years later. Really miss the place and most especially the people!!
Not many places can boast of being around long enough for multiple generations of families to have the opportunity to work there. How incredible. The video Connie is referring to can be seen below:
The Great Lakes Shipping Company was known for its prime rib, unique salad bar, and serving quality, comforting food in what sounds like a very welcoming environment. All in all, The Great Lakes Shipping Company was in Kalamazoo for 44 years. In fact, the owner, Peter Cotter, was a student who worked at the establishment in 1974 when it first opened. He eventually went on to buy it in 1988 and close it in 2018. Read more here.
Going back to Connie W.'s post in Vanished Kalamazoo, it's clear by the over 200 comments that The Great Lakes Shipping Co. was beloved and still missed even now, nearly 4 years later. Comments included:
One of the true family owned restaurant's in Kalamazoo that had everything good with homespun hospitality it's getting rare these days! - Bill C.
My husband and I had our first date there in 1995 and are still together after 27 years. - Barb A.
We had our wedding day dinner there back in '75.......& we're still together!! - Terry T.
Best french dip in the world - Julee B.
Really miss that place! Best Salad bar anywhere, cozy room for quiet talks, great service! - Edie C.
See? The Great Lakes Shipping Company was doing something right. And I'm experiencing some serious FOMO right now (that's a fear of missing out).
It's easy to feel a kind of sad nostalgia when it comes to local establishments that are no longer around. Just look at how many memories were made in this place alone. And, with the announced closure of Food Dance, many long-time locals may be wondering...where's the next place we'll be able to make our memories?
Who's to say? However, there's a list of restaurants that people in Kalamazoo, apparently, want in town right now: