Readers select Zeke’s as 2015 favorite
Published 10:35 am Monday, July 27, 2015
The ballots have been cast and the votes tallied — and trio of longtime downtown businesses have emerged from the pool of worthy Dowagiac restaurants as readers’ favorite places to dine in the Grand Old City.
Last week, Leader Publications announced the winners of the 2015 Best of the Best Reader’s Choice contest, with dozens of local businesses, professionals and organizations in the Michiana area receiving recognition from the publically voted competition, including several from the Dowagiac area.
The city was the sole focus of one of the award categories, for “Best Restaurant in Dowagiac.” Winning in this category were three Front Street restaurants, well-known by residents and visitors alike.
Winning the gold medal was Zeke’s Restaurant, winning the silver medal was The Wood Fire Italian Restaurant, and winning bronze was the Wounded Minnow Saloon.
Zeke’s win is the latest in their streak of top place finishes in the annual Best of the Best competition.
When asked about the reason for their string of continued success, General Manager Jackie O’Brien credited it to the restaurant’s loyal customer base.
“You see other places come and go, but the locals keep us going,” O’Brien said.
The family-style restaurant, which celebrated its 25th year in business in April, has earned its reputation among Dowagiac foodies for its selection of affordable American dishes, including its bluegill basket, a favorite among customers, O’Brien said. Its assortment of 260 different domestic, imported and microbrewed beers is also popular with diners.
What keeps the people returning, though, is the quaint atmosphere and the nearly 50 friendly staff members, many of who have worked at the restaurant for a decade or more, O’Brien said.
“It’s all the little things that make a great restaurant,” she said.
O’Brien said she is honored that local readers have again selected Zeke’s as their favorite restaurant of the year.
“We appreciate everyone who has supported us over the past 25 years,” she said. “We hope to be around for a lot longer, and continue to do a great job of serving Dowagiac.”