Governor's Quarters in Bay City has 23 taps

 Restaurant features plenty of Michigan craft beers and liquors

By Heather Jordan
The Bay City Times

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) — Twenty-three.

That’s a lot of taps.

And at the Governor’s Quarters Pub and Grill, located in the basement of Arbeitoer Hall in a West Side Bay City neighborhood known for its single family homes, that’s exactly what you’ll find, according to The Bay City Times.

You’ll also find plenty of Michigan craft beers, cider, mead, Michigan liquors and, according to the owners, a “Michigan focus.”

“There’s kind of a Michigan pride movement. The craft beer industry is growing,” said Jeff Owczarzak, co-owner of the Governor’s Quarters, which opened a few months ago. “Michigan has some of the best offerings in the country, and most people in this part of the state don’t realize how much Michigan has.”

Among the offerings are craft beers by Short’s Brewing Co., OddSide Ales, Founders Brewing Co., Right Brain Brewery and Perrin Brewing Co. The Governor’s Quarters does not sell beer made by Bay City’s own Tri-City Brewery, as Tri-City has its own tap room on Bay City’s East Side.

The Governor’s Quarters is owned and operated by Jeff and Heidi Owczarzak and Craig and Jennifer Owczarzak. Jeff and Craig are brothers. The quartet has owned the building for four years and still is in the process of re-branding the former Owczarzak Lounge. A new sign and a new menu are coming soon.

Heidi Owczarzak said the menu likely will include sandwiches and burgers.

“We’ve got a food consultant coming in to work with us on some ideas,” Jeff Owczarzak added.

He said they’ll also be focusing heavily on appetizers.

“When you get a bunch of people sitting at the table they all kind of want to share a little bit of this, share a little bit of that.”

The Owczarzak family has a bit of experience in the food business, as they also own and operate the nearby Meats & Mooore butcher shop and grocery store.

Craig and Jeff Owczarzak’s parents Ambrose and Mary Owczarzak opened Meats & Mooore, originally The Meat Gallery, in 1976.

Today, Meats & Mooore offers homemade sausage, natural and organic meats, barbeque and ice cream. During warmer months, the business cooks up food that is served in a small outdoor seating area.

“Everything’s done the old fashioned way,” said Craig Owczarzak, noting the shop specializes in fresh, natural meats and makes a variety of sausages that are free of MSG and fillers. “Just meat and spices.”

Craig Owczarzak focuses mostly on the meat market, while Jeff Owczarzak keeps tabs on the bar side of the family business.

“Everything we do, we try to do the best quality we possibly can,” he said, adding that thanks to his brother’s meticulous care of the tap system at the Governor’s Quarters, when “you go there (to) get a beer, it’s perfect every time.”

Jeff Owczarzak said business at Governor’s Quarters started out a little slow, but it’s been increasing over the last few months. Overall, customer feedback has been positive.

“The people that understand who we are and what we do, we get great feedback from. A lot of people like the craft stuff,” Jeff Owczarzak said. “We get some people that are new to craft beer so they’re not sure what to think, and they generally try it and like it.

“We do carry some of the domestic stuff in bottles for people that are just not into it. But, for the most part, people are liking what we’re doing and the direction we’re going.”