CROSS VILLAGE, Mich. – The township supervisor of a small town in Northern Michigan is pretty blunt when talking about what the village would be like without a certain restaurant.
It’s called the Legs Inn, and if it weren’t still standing, “The town wouldn’t even exist,” said Cross Village Supervisor Gene Reck, not one to mince words.
Yep, pretty much.
Cross Village is a township that sits right along Lake Michigan that has two big things going for it, neither of which are lots of people or businesses.
Reck said the town had 270 people counted in the last Census, and besides a gas station, an art gallery that he owns, a Catholic church and a couple of souvenir stores, there isn’t much else besides trees, roads and farmland. There is a scenic stretch of road called the Tunnel of Trees that’s popular with tourists, but not much else.
But as for what Cross Village does have working in its favor, there are two major factors. One is the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan found in many spots.
The other is the Legs Inn, an eatery and historical landmark with value that can best be summarized in one statement: “We will regularly feed four to five times the population of Cross Village in our restaurant,” said Mark Smolak, a third-generation owner of the restaurant.
And that's definitely not an exaggeration.