Bully for “The Bully”

The Boulevard Lounge, located in Midland’s Center City, was closed for twelve days in mid-August but the building wasn't sitting quietly. Instead, the bar/restaurant went through a significant renovation to freshen up what customers experience and the infrastructure in the back of the house.

New TVs were installed at The Bully.
Cherie Murray, who owns the Boulevard with Scott Dexter, says, “We upgraded all our plumbing, all our electrical, new lights, new flooring, a new bar, we redid the whole coffee room, and did lots of painting.”  She adds, “We redid the overhead of the bar so now people can see all of our liquors.”  They put in a new draft system, Coca-Cola system, and installed two new 85-inch and five new 65-inch televisions, as well as three smaller TVs that hang in the center of the dining area. These TVs usually display sporting events.
The Bully's renovation includes new chairs and tables.
Customers now sit on new chairs at new tables in the 207-seat establishment. A subtle change was the installation of 60 new ceiling sound panels to help with the acoustics. Murray wouldn’t say how much was spent on the renovation but she notes it’s the first significant improvement since 1995 when the kitchen was expanded and restrooms were added on the Saginaw Road side of the building, “It was just getting old. We had leaks we had to fix. The floor was breaking up…it needed it, more modern…We’re more of a restaurant now, the atmosphere.”

The Boulevard, nicknamed "The Bully," has sat near the intersection of Rodd and Saginaw since the late 1950s, when Saginaw Road was a boulevard. It was owned by Scott Dexter’s father, Clyde, before Scott took over the business in 1995.

Of the new look, Murray says, “ People like it, all positive remarks.”  She adds, “For everything the customers have given us, we’ve given back to them. I don’t want them to come into a dingy, dirty place.”  Murray acknowledges the many contractors who worked on the project including Reliable Plumbing, Church Electric, Happy Tappy, Central CeilingBar Area Speciality Flooring, and Jason Lesperance. 

Liz Barringer, kitchen manager, Cherie Murray, owner, Veronica Murray, assistant manager, Vanessa Sedrowski, house day manager, in front of the new look bar.The Boulevard employs a staff of 40. Many of them are long-time employees. Murray says, “We strive to have good service…Love my staff. I have a great staff.” She says they work as a team emphasizing keeping the kitchen and bar clean. They also have a professional cleaning company, Kars Cleaning, that comes in twice a week.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served at the Boulevard Lounge.
The Boulevard is open 7am to 10pm Sunday through Wednesday, and stays open to 11pm Thursday through Saturday. Specials include a “Build Your Burger and Choose Your Basket” on Thursdays for $12.99. They’ve added a quarter pound burger to the menu, in addition to the half-pound burger. 

What’s the future hold?  Murray says, “We have no intention of getting rid of this place. We’ll probably do it until we can’t do it anymore…we love meeting with our customers.”

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Read more articles by Ron Beacom.

Ron Beacom has served as the managing editor of Catalyst Midland since October 2020. He's also a freelance writer for the Midland Daily News and the producer/host of "Second Act: Life at 50 Plus" for WDCQ-Delta College Public Media (PBS). He's the co-producer of two WDCQ documentaries about the Tittabawassee River Disaster in 2020, "Breached! and Breached!2-The Recovery."