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Hoisting up fun

April 23, 2008
The Daily Mining Gazette
HOUGHTON — Escape the ordinary.

Head on down to The Mine Shaft and Rock House Hardwood Grille for a fun-filled adventure, complete with dining, bowling and arcade, all in a smoke-free environment.

The Mine Shaft entertainment center and the Rock House Hardwood Grille is unlike anything the Keweenaw has ever seen before.

The 30,000 square foot entertainment center and restaurant, located at 915 Razorback Drive in Houghton, features 18 bowling lanes, a 177 seat restaurant and bar, a full-scale video arcade, pro-shop and a state-of-the-art light and sound show.

“We’re also in the final stages of installing our MaxFlight roller coaster simulator,” said Dale Grampo, manager of the bar/restaurant. “It’s a two-person ride. We should have it up and running the end of April.”

Instead of using quarters to play the more than 50 arcade games in the entertainment center, The Mine Shaft is using its own Mine Shaft Card. Customers can add dollars to their cards and use them throughout the entire complex. The more money they deposit on their cards, the more bonus play they will receive in the arcade. Information on the bonus program is available throughout The Mine Shaft complex. Registering the cards is not mandatory but it is recommend.

“We are able to track the customer’s preferences and offer bonuses based on this information, if they register them,” Dale said. “Also, if the card is lost we can re-issue a new one with balances intact.”

The Mine Shaft entertainment center and the Rock House Hardwood Grille features design elements representative of the local area. The exterior of the building resembles the Quincy Hill No. 6 mine shaft. Inside, the tables are topped with native century-old Jacobsville sandstone. The bar has native copper pieces embedded in its surface and glows green with the flick of a switch.

For late night entertainment pleasure, the Rock House Hardwood Grille will turn a portion of its restaurant seating area into a dance floor. The DJs will be able to tap into part of the $100,000 sound and light system, which should get everybody ready to rock and roll.

Visitors to Houghton’s newest entertainment complex will also find the fun isn’t limited to the inside. Outside the complex is one of the largest go-cart tracks in the state of Michigan. It also features a 9-hole miniature golf course.

As soon as it warms up, The Mine Shaft will be opening the patio just off of the back of the complex for outdoor dining and beverages.

The Rock House Hardwood Grill menu is getting rave reviews from diners.

In the appetizers section, the Mother Lode Nachos — a mound of tri-colored homemade tortilla chips topped with hardwood grilled chili rubbed chicken, andouille sausage, ancho spiked black beans, fresh salsa, and melted cheddar with sour cream and a chipotle drizzle — are a hit.

So are the wings. In fact, we believe they’re the best in the Upper Peninsula.

Every Tuesday, from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Mine Shaft features all the wings you can eat and all the bowling you can do for $12.

The Rock House Hardwood Grille has the largest tap beer selection in the area and a state-of-the-art Island Oasis drink system.

“We have 10 different flavors of the 100 percent fruit juice product Island Oasis offers, so the choice of smoothies and alcoholic beverages you can make with the system is unlimited,” Dale said.

Specialty entrees, like the Smoked Chicken Carbonara — which is applewood-smoked chicken, crisp bacon, sweet cherry tomatoes, garden peas and wild mushrooms in parmesan garlic cream sauce over linguini — is guaranteed to tickle the diner’s taste buds.

The Rock House also offers steaks. Customers can choose from a variety of cuts including sirloin, rib eye and strip steaks.

“Our baby back ribs are also something worth trying,” Dale said. “We put on our own dry rub, then smoke them with Texas hickory and finish them with on our hardwood grill basting them with our homemade barbecue sauce. It will make you hungry just reading this!”

Signature side dishes include green beans served al dente, sweet potato fries and homemade seasoned kettle chips, among other items.

Diners can also choose from homemade pizzas, soups and salads.

For dessert, the Rock House Hardwood Grille has taken the traditional camp fire classic and brought it to the table top with it’s Make-your-own S’mores.

The family fun dessert includes graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate fondue.

For tummies 12 and under, the Rock House Hardwood Grille features a variety of kids meals from grilled cheese sandwiches and crisp chicken tenders to Jr. Shaft House Sliders — mini cheeseburgers topped with a secret burger sauce and side of seasoned kettle chips.

On Friday, the Rock House Grille is kicking off its Friday Fish Fry. The fish fry includes deep fried white fish, made with the restaurant’s special batter, along with a side of coleslaw, house green beans and kettle chips for $10.99.

The Mine Shaft and Rock House Hardwood Grille features a number of specials throughout the week:

• Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. diners can get two full meals for $11.99. Customers can choose from eight Rock House meals, including choice of sides.

• Party Palooza every Thursday night from 9:30 to 2 a.m. No cover charge. Entertainment includes a DJ, mini margaritas, buckets of beer, glow bowling, contests, games and more! Unlimited bowling and wings only $12.

• Youth Birthday packages on Saturday and Sunday have been a big hit! The parties can be customized to meet any requirements. Brochures are available at The Mine Shaft.

Also, starting May 5, the Rock House Hardwood Grille will be opening at 6 a.m. seven days a week for breakfast. The breakfast menu, we feel, is second to none in the area.

The Mine Shaft and Rock House Hardwood Grille is located at 915 Razorback Drive in Houghton, behind Wal-Mart and next to the Country Inn & Suites. For more information, call 482-1270 or visit

Editor’s note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by The Mine Shaft and Rock House Hardwood Grille of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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