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  • Hank

Antler's Bar & Family Restaurant

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

This "legendary landmark" is located in the SOO locks. It has a great family atmosphere and some bomb ass food. The pricing was good, and the whole experience was amazing. They have all the bells and whistles. And, I literally mean bells and whistles. They turn on bells and whistles to thank their patrons for joining them for a meal. And, it was LOUD But, this is not a review of a really cool restaurant in the great northern Michigan. I mean you should totally check it out because it was cool and good.

There are over 300 taxidermy mounts that are displayed all over the restaurant. This started in roughly 1950's. This became a place to attract local hunters, fisherman...fisherpeople? and those who love the redneckary of dead animals hanging on the wall. But, before this it was something else. Something else entirely. The history of this place goes back over 4 generations with even more families associated with it.

The Antler's Bar & Family Restaurant started out as The Bucket of Blood Saloon. Yepp, that bad ass name. The Bucket of Blood Saloon opened in 1915. It was a regular old bar, but with a brothel. Or, whore house as most of the research I did called it. When prohibition hit (1922-1930) the owners fronted the now speakeasy with an ice-cream parlor.

This ice cream parlor worked as a front for a while. They named it the "North Star Ice Cream Parlor." The owners and workers would use the bells and whistle system...which is still used today... to notify the patrons that were in the speakeasy that the cops were there and to be on the watch. This speakeasy, and bootlegging operation could have gone on for a lot longer - but they got caught. How, you ask? By reporting $900 in ice cream sales despite only going through 1-2 quarts of ice cream. That is not suspicious at all.

When this was a brothel, one of the sex-workers died there. Or, so the stories say. These sex workers still haunt the place. Although it is hard to really find the truth in the stories.

There are two ghosts there, one malevolent who killed his wife and another benevolent one who was much loved by the staff when he was alive. They were also on "My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera" too.

Employees and customers of the Antler's often say they see shadowy apparitions and experience other paranormal things. Some of these are doors opening and shutting, banging in the bathrooms (no pun intended - get it? it was a brothel?), objects and furniture being moved on their own. There is also reports of electronics not working as they should. They will often turn on and off for no reason.

One of the town legend say that trappers in the 1920's would trade their antlers and pelts for their booze of choice.

The Bucket of Blood Saloon changed its name in 1948 to The Antlers, and the owners then started to change this establishment to a more family friendly place. No bootlegging or prostitution involved.

Just another fun fact....episodes of the TV show Gunsmoke was filmed in front of the building.

A story from a waitress - and others said it definitely happened.

Anyone who knows me also knows that I am not shy. So, when I found out that this restaurant that I was eating at was haunted I did the only logical thing. I asked the waitress if it was true. First, she asked if I had watched the A&E's My Ghost Stories. And, of course, no I hadn't. Because apparently this bar was featured as an actual haunted place. Then, I asked if she could tell me a story of her experiences. And, she was so willing to share.

I recorded her story - Here is the transcription:

"My son worked here a few years back and after closing one night the girls and I were wrapping silverware at a table - the big one up front - and my son was back cleaning. I walked to the back where he was and he was like "Mom, why were you banging in the bathroom so loud?" I was like what are you talking about. I was wrapping silverware. And, no one had went in the bathroom. Shortly after this, the cook and my son were mopping up the kitchen. It was probably about 10:30 PM and we were almost done. They looked up and orbs were flying all over the kitchen. The were taking pictures because they didn't think anyone would believe them. Then the phone started ringing. My son picked it up and no one was there. This happened about 10 more times. and it was really scary."

She said that a lot of people hear banging on the bathroom stalls. And, noises that cannot be explained. She also told us that all of Sault Ste. Marie is pretty much haunted and you could get stories anywhere.

The photos I got:

These are the bathroom stalls that people hear banging on.,..


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