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Brady's Bar is one of  Traverse City's last remaining original neighborhood bars. We are the local's choice tavern with an up-north rustic atmosphere. Our staff are always good for a laugh, and our regulars will surely fill you in on the town's dirt. We're known for stiff drinks, incredible wings, pizza, burgers, and our Thursday blue gill special.  Select a TV to watch your favorite sports team, jam to your favorite tunes on our jukebox,  and play a game of pool. See you at Brady's! 




"Today, the southeast corner of Union St., and Lake Ave. is the home of Brady's Bar. That corner has a long and interesting history. Prior to 1866, there was nothing there except some scrub pine trees and slash, left from the pine tree harvest. Then in 1866. Perry Hannah built the first bridge across the Boardman River connecting the village with the land south of the river. Soon a short road was cleared that connected Union St. to the state road (known today as Silver Lake Road) and travelers from the south had an easy access to the village.  William and Jane Shilson, early managers of the Hannah, Lay boarding how was the possibilities for a hotel located south of the river and in 1872, Jane Shilson contracted with a local building and soon traverse City had a new hotel with accommodations for 40 guests.  When the railroad arrived in November of 1872, the newly named Boardman River House was ready for business. Soon a first class livery stable was built behind the hotel to accommodate the influx of traveling salesmen. 

In 1891 the Chicago & Western Michigan Railroad announced plans to run a spur along the southside of the river with a passenger terminal to be located on Union Street just twenty yards north of Boardman River House.  The Shilson's lost no time taking advantage of this windfall.  Thomas Shilson who had become manager, added a two story addition to the building and renamed it the Shilson House. Meals and light refreshments were served at the hotel but not alcoholic beverages were available.  This wishing to imbibe found it necessary to walk two doors to the house to Harvey Pierce's Saloon or further down the street to Novotny's Saloon.  Pierce's was known for its music box that played extremely loud music that could be heard all up and down Union Street.  Novotny's was famous as a favorite haunt of members of the Bohemian community and was know for it's good ethnic food and Music.

The Barn and former livery stable behind the hotel was hit by lightning in 1912 and was destroyed by fine.  In 1929, the hotel was sold for $5,000 and became known as the Union Hotel. Bernard "bun" Brady purchased the building around 1940 and renamed the business Bun Brady's,, later to be renamed again to Brady's Bar. "

***The above text and photo were taken from a photocopy found from an unknown book.  We believe the above was written by Bob Wilhelm and Bob Wilson.***  

 In April of 1969 Bun sold the bar to Lester "Les" Cole who later sold Brady's to his son, Patrick "Pat" Cole.  The building was severely damaged when the roof caught fire in May of 1988 and the entire building had to be remodeled due to water damage. Pat Cole worked very hard to ensure that the building kept it's original outer structure. Pat and Les owned Brady's Bar collectively for 50 years before it was sold to an employee in March of 2019.

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