Mayfair Tavern History

The Mayfair Tavern is a historical icon for Elberta and Benzie County. Located at 515 Frankfort Ave in Elberta, MI the Tavern is close to Betsie Bay and the bike trail. Frankfort Avenue used to be M 168 the second shortest highway in the state. M 168 was decommissioned in 2005.

IMG_6898The Tavern has a cozy atmosphere and a neighborhood charm. The Mayfair Tavern has a long history of priding itself on fresh, hand-prepared food. The Mayfair Tavern was established in 1933 by Charles W. Luxford. The Tavern was ideally located near the Ann Arbor Railroad Depot and the loading docks for the car ferries. For many years the tavern was a watering hole for the sailors and railroad employees. It was better known as “Pea Soups”. When Luxford first opened the Tavern it consisted of a small building that is currently the north end of the Tavern. As the years went on and the business grew he added on.   The middle section of the current bar was built with salvaged lumber from the original Ann Arbor Railroad Depot.   The third section of the building was moved into place by relocating an old shoemakers shop from Lincoln Ave. The fourth and final addition was actually built on site and is the southern end of the building.   Luxford sold the Mayfair Tavern in 1952 to Everett Peterson. Peterson ran the Tavern for 10 years before selling it to Charles L. Luxford, grandson of the original owner. Luxford originally had a business partner named Wayne Johnson, but he bought him out in two years. In the 80’s the Railroad and the car ferries shut down. Chuck and his wife, Imogene expanded the kitchen and the Mayfair became known for their food.  Chuck and Imogene owned the tavern until 1998 when they sold it to Wally Palmer. Wally remodeled the inside of the building, making many changes to the original footprint. He salvaged the original hardwood floor from the bar area and built the current bar top. Wally sold the Tavern to James Goldman in 2007. In July of 2012 Goldman sold the restaurant to Katie Condon and Jen Whiting. The sisters had grown up eating at The Mayfair Tavern and wanted to bring back some of the original menu from the Luxford era. The first call they made was to the Luxford family. The sisters spent the next four months giving the old building a face lift. A new outdoor paint job, a new roof, new kitchen equipment and new kitchen flooring. The restaurant was reopened in October of 2012.