Graduation guide for local restaurant reservations

Arin Bisaro | Staff Photographer Mt Pleasant resident Joe Hafer, right, talks to two customers while working the bar Thursday afternoon at Mountain Town Station.

With commencement less than two months away, many Chippewas are looking to enjoy a night on the town with family and friends once the ceremony is over. An expected busy night in Mount Pleasant, making a reservation to ensure your spot at one of your favorite local restaurants might be a good idea.

Here's a guide to make your reservation-planning a little easier:

Mountain Town Station, 506 W. Broadway St. | 989.775.2337

Hostess Katie Macker said reservations at this popular restaurant and brewery are filling up quickly, but there's still time to book a spot.

While Mountain Town typically only makes reservations for parties of 12 or more, the graduation policy allows reservations for parties of 10 people. Be sure to have everybody travel together because, in order to be seated, every member of the party must be present.

After making your reservation, you'll be given a confirmation number, which you must have with you when you show up at the restaurant. If you're going to be more than 15 minutes late, make sure to call ahead.

The Brass Cafe & Saloon, 128 S. Main St. | 989.772.0864

This restaurant takes reservations only one night a year: Graduation. According to head server Melissa Lalonde, the restaurant will reach reservation capacity within the next two weeks.

On graduation day, The Brass will serve its full dinner and bar menu all day. There are no policies for party size, but Lalonde said if your party is composed of five people or less, you likely won't need a reservation.

Lalonde said the restaurant has been open on graduation night for years and the staff understands the ceremonies can sometimes run long. She said lateness has never been a problem, but give them a call if you're worried.

Italian Oven Restaurant, 2336 S. Mission St. | 989.773.6836

Manager Lindsey Latini said The Italian Oven doesn't take reservations, but you can call ahead for preferred seating to make your graduation dinner run a little more smoothly.

The way preferred seating works, Latini said, is that your party's name is put on a list and when you enter the restaurant, you're seated before the walk-in crowd. She said she would recommend calling as soon as possible.

There is no minimum party size for preferred seating. All that's required is a name, time, phone number and estimate of people. An employee will call you a few days in advance to confirm your preferred seating and to accommodate any changes.

Italian Oven will hold your table for up to 30 minutes past the time you said you'd be there.

Olive Garden, 4070 E. Blue Grass Road | 989.772.0007 & Red Lobster, 4062 E. Blue Grass Road | 989.772.5622

If you're craving pasta or seafood from one of these chains, you'd better hightail it out of commencement, because neither takes reservations. Red Lobster will accommodate call-aheads, but only 30 minutes before you plan to show up.

Your best bet with these popular chains is to simply beat the crowd there.


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