Mettlers American Mercantile Founder Brings American Fare to Bay Harbor


Lou Mettler — founder of Mettlers American Mercantile — will open Seventeen, a classic American restaurant, on July 1 at Bay Harbor, a luxury resort community in northern Michigan.

“The restaurant is kind of an extension of (Mettler’s) retail clothing line, American Mercantile, where everything — from the thread to the buttons — is American made,” says Greg Klinger, the restaurant’s general manager. “Seventeen has a focus on American (products), almost to an exclusive extent.”

Designed by Executive Chef Eric Basta, the menu will feature an American Wagyu beef burger topped with horseradish cheddar, local Plath’s bacon, and a fried egg; wild blue Maine mussels sautéed in a light curry, lemongrass, and coconut milk broth; and tagliatelle pasta tossed in fresh ramp pest, served with heirloom tomatoes, basil, black garlic, and English peas.

Klinger says the restaurant’s wine and beer selection will be nationally sourced, but the spirits offerings are more of an “ex-patriot list.” “People like what they like,” he says. “If they want a Scotch, they want a Scotch.”

The restaurant’s décor will highlight historical elements of America’s equestrian heritage. In an adjoining retail space, customers can browse Mettler’s made-in-America apparel as well as home accents and accessories.

“In my extensive travels throughout my life, I have never seen a more beautiful waterfront than Bay Harbor,” Mettler says. “I knew in my heart that this was the perfect spot to create a one of a kind restaurant offering fine food and beverages, in addition to promoting local products and contributing to the community and its economy.”

Seventeen, at 795 Front St., will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for lunch and dinner. The restaurant can seat about 100 people on its first floor, with additional banquet seating available on the second. There are also approximately 90 seats in the outdoor patio area.

Klinger says that as the opening coincides with Bay Harbor’s 20th anniversary, Seventeen will be participating in several events celebrating the milestone, including hosting a champagne brunch on July 13.

For additional information, visit or call 231-347-1717.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on June 23, 2014. The original version identified Lou Mettler as a co-founder of Tommy Bahama. To clarify, Mettler was a partner in the two original Tommy Bahama retail/restaurant locations in Naples and Sarasota, Fla. He was not involved in any of the company’s other retail locations.