414 N. 2nd Ave., Alpena, MI 49707
The John A. Lau Saloon is right in downtown Alpena, and for years they’ve been serving up great meals, cold beverages and I guess some pretty good ghost stories. The original saloon was built back in 1893 and during prohibition became a “candy store” (hmm…). Today it’s a very cool, authentic-looking saloon and restaurant that’s full of old-time knickknacks and great memorabilia.
The saloon has great food and friendly people, but it’s best known for its resident ghost. As the story goes, the original owner’s wife died in childbirth and, to this day, inhabits the saloon. They say if she likes you, she leaves you alone. But if she doesn’t, she can be a bit mischievous. Nothing malicious, just the occasional tap on the shoulder or glass rattling. There’s a spot at the top of the stairs where they say her soul likes to linger. I went up there and came back down pretty quickly. I’ll admit it; I was a little spooked.
The big scare of the day happened while I was sitting near the fireplace. I looked in it and actually saw the face of a child. It really, genuinely scared me… until I found out with great embarrassment that it was a two-way fireplace, and it was just a family sitting on the other side waiting for a table. A ghost hunter I’m not. But food? That I can handle, and we handled a great lunch that day.