Enjoy a Sunday brunch at the H Hotel courtyard

Looking for a new upscale, cozy outdoor brunch pick? The H Hotel might be your new go-to spot, as it recently kicked off its brunch season this week. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., diners can enjoy breakfast pastries, breads, fruits, coffee, juice, tea, and build-your-own mimosa and bloody mary bars in the outdoor courtyard. The ONe18 fixed menu features uniquely created brunch entrees and a fresh fruit and pastry platter to start at $24 per person. 

Theo Bawar is the executive chef at the ONe18 restaurant, one of three food and beverage outlets within the hotel. 

Bawar says the restaurant never formally offered brunch, and staff wanted to utilize the courtyard’s outdoor space for dining on a regular basis. Typically, the ONe18 restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday, but now the community can taste special brunch entrees each week. Brunch is available for walk-ins only, and reservations are not accepted. 

“We did a soft opening last Sunday, and it went pretty well,” Bawar says. “We’ve gotten a little buzz, and hopefully it will be successful, and we’ll be able to do it every Sunday.”

Sarah Spohn Brunch menu to include familiar Midwest breakfast food items

Mara Dubay is the director of outlets at the H Hotel in Midland and says the idea for the courtyard brunch also came out of demand and necessity.

“We wanted to utilize the space on a Sunday, it sat empty the past two summers, and it’s a beautiful space,” Dubay says. “We wanted to be able to offer something more in the community. We know how busy we are with Cafe Zinc, and the amount of people we have to turn away is disheartening. We wanted to be able to keep everyone within our walls and give them something a little bit different we haven’t seen in the area yet.”

Cafe Zinc seats roughly 105 people, and the Courtyard fits roughly 89 people for brunch. There are tables for small and large parties, heaters, fire pits, umbrellas, and a large tent. The summer Sunday brunch adds a warm-weather option for their courtyard activities, in addition to the popular winter dining pods. The brunch is scheduled to run each Sunday from now until August 25, but Dubay says depending on the success, they might extend it and move it indoors after summer.  

Bawar curated the Brunch menu to include familiar Midwest breakfast food items and put his own unique flair on the entrees. Currently, the menu includes a stuffed brioche bundt, red velvet Belgian waffle, courtyard benedict, smoked brisket hash frittata, sausage and gravy, and peanut butter and banana pancakes. In the future, the chef hopes to offer rotating specials and special upcharge items like crab cake benedicts or steak and eggs in addition to the menu. 

Bawar hopes to provide the community with a unique dining atmosphere and menu at an approachable price. 

“Once you try the food and have the service, it’s not your typical buffet or a service a la carte,” he says. “I think the value is very good for the $24 price.”

Sarah SpohnCustomers can take advantage of the fully stocked, build-your-own mimosa and bloody mary bar.
For an additional cost of $13, customers can take advantage of the fully stocked, build-your-own mimosa and bloody mary bar on-site. In addition to the full bar menu, there’s a specialty cocktail menu, including a Michelada cocktail, cold brew sangria, Aperol spritz, and espresso martini. 

Dubay says she was pleasantly surprised by the community’s response on the first official day of Brunch on Sunday, June 9. She hopes to see more people stop by the cozy, secluded dining space in the future. 

“I’d like to fill our courtyard every Sunday, do 200+ covers every week, and be able to give back something to the community,” she says. “This area is beautiful, and it’s just under-utilized.”

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.