Wil Lew Lounge - "Best Country Club"

Celebrating Back-To=Back Wins

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, Review Music Awards,   By: Matt deHeus

08th May, 2019     0

In the bar business, sometimes you here that a place has “a reputation.”

The Wil Lew Lounge in Bay City just might be such a place.  For instance, a reputation for good food.  Or that you can expect it to be a friendly atmosphere if you are there for a Sunday breakfast, a weeknight dinner or catching the last set of your favorite band on a Saturday night.  And, as evidenced by their back-to-back wins for “Best County Club” in the annual Review Music Awards, they also have a well-earned reputation for presenting live music.

The history of the Will Lew traces back over 50 years when bar owners Charlie Wilcox and William Lewis decided to combine operations.  The bar is currently owned by Scott Mackenzie and managed day to day by Jody Royal.

Located slightly west of Bay City, the Wil Lew is situated at 305 E Midland Rd, making it easily accessible to people from the City and the townships.  The current location, which took turns as a doctor’s office and a barber shop prior to it’s current life, has ample parking  - a good thing with the kind of crowds the venue is known to attract.

The business is first and foremost a bar and restaurant, with a full menu of favorites.  They are particularly known for the wide variety of appetizers and selection of homemade soups.

The Music Awards also recognize those who work in support of the industry and one of the reasons the Wil Lew seems to fair so well is their employees.  Bartending and wait staff, including Angela Box and Cayla Girardot, have been regular nominees in the Server categories the last several years.  While customers who come for all reasons enjoy the high level of service, it is when the place gets rocking on a Friday or Saturday night that you really see the staff get to shine.

This gets us to one other point.  While the Wil Lew has won awards as a “Country Bar,” the fact is they feature a wide variety of music.   The venue consistently offers music four days a week, Thursday to Sunday.   This week’s offerings of Catfood Sandwich on Thursday, Kin Faux on Friday and Saturday and The Music Doctors on Sunday is typical of a weekend slate.  In addition to “country” bands, the Wil Lew also host the best in classic rock and variety, as the Hipakritz, The Sinclairs, The Savior Machines and others regularly old court there, too.

One of the things that makes the Wil Lew attractive to music lovers is that is one of the few venues in the area with a legit dance floor.   The bands have ample space to set up and still let the patrons “shake a leg.”  The club is a favorite of area line dancers.  In fact, Monday’s feature “Line Dancing with Nicole” for those who would like to learn the art.

It is probably fair to say that Bay City is a “Bar Town,” with a culture that was formed around local water holes like the Wil Lew.  It is also probably fair to say that most bar owners, when they first open the doors, are hoping to build something that has developed as well as this business.   Back-To-Back venue wins would indicate our readers agree.

 

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