Bonanza – a Marquette Classic

Bonanza Restaurant - Marquette

Bonanza Restaurant - Marquette

Yesterday I attended the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA – www.uppaa.org) fall meeting. We had to reschedule our location at the last minute and Bonanza Restaurant was kind enough to accomodate us, just further confirmation of the fine business Bonanza has been doing in Marquette for decades, so as a small sign of gratitude, I am posting here the section from My Marquette about Bonanza, one of my family’s long-time favorite Marquette eateries:

Grandpa and Grandma were regulars at Bonanza, which ensured that Chad and John got extra suckers with their little wrangler meals. They all overstuffed their stomachs with steak, chili con carne, salad, french fries, and ice cream.

— Superior Heritage

When Bonanza opened in 1977, it was one of those new restaurants, springing up along U.S. 41 leading out of town and actually in Marquette Township, but today, it is a mainstay as one of Marquette’s longest operating restaurants.

Soon after it opened, my mom and grandma went there for lunch. At that time, Grandma thought Grandpa wouldn’t like it because it wasn’t a “sit down and be waited on” kind of restaurant. Boy, was she wrong!

Grandpa loved Bonanza. Soon my grandparents were going there for supper at least twice a week. They became good friends with Mitch Lazaren, the owner, and all the Bonanza staff. My grandpa made some frames for different maps and posters for the restaurant, and for Christmas one year, my grandparents were given Bonanza jackets with their names embroidered on them.

For years, my grandparents, parents, brother and I could regularly be found at Bonanza on Saturday nights. It was my favorite restaurant as much as Grandpa’s. The Chili Con Carne alone was enough to keep me going back.

How special was Bonanza to my grandparents? So special that during winter blizzards, my mom had to argue on the phone with Grandpa to get him to stay home rather than go there for supper. So special that in 1983, my grandparents celebrated their forty-ninth wedding anniversary there.

Other steakhouses have come and gone in Marquette, but Bonanza has outlived all its competition. The service remains impeccable, the food fantastic, and the atmosphere friendly, if a bit overwhelmed by hungry people crowding around the salad bar—but that’s the sign of a truly good restaurant.

Explore posts in the same categories: Marquette History, Tyler's Family, Upper Michigan Sites to Visit

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5 Comments on “Bonanza – a Marquette Classic”


  1. I was at Bonanza, my first time ever, and loved it! Wish all our meetings could be held there!


  2. My “Bonanza” was The Ranch buffet in Iron Mountain. We went there after church with my grandparents almost every Sunday. It was similar to Bonanza in that it had meals, like steak and chicken dishes that you could order at the register to go with your buffet. It went out of business many years ago, which is a bummer because sometimes I crave The Ranch! We loved the rolls there and bought a bunch for our wedding reception. Glad you enjoyed your first Bonanza experience, Donna. I sure enjoyed everyone’s company.


  3. Thank you both for the comments and joining me at Bonanza. Jenifer, we used to have a Ranch – it was the Ponderosa first and was where Applebees is now in Marquette. I liked that place too, but it was never quite as good as Bonanza.


  4. We eat at Bonanza every time we’re in Marquette! Good food, but just as important, always a pleasant staff!


  5. Thanks for the comment, Carol. The customer service at Bonanza is absolutely first-rate!


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