Four family-owned diners to enjoy in the Blue Water Area

There’s nothing like your favorite diner where you can always find a good cup of coffee, some comfort food, and a casual atmosphere — ideally with some fun swivel chairs at a sit-down counter.

From homemade food to historic locations, these family-owned diners are sure to satisfy.  

Palms Krystal Bar & Grill/Chicken in the Rough 

Palms Krystal Bar & Grill Serving Chicken in the Rough© was purchased four years ago by Jim and Linda Jovanovski. At one time there were 250 Chicken in the Rough© franchised outlets, but now only three remain.
Four years ago Linda Jovanovski and her husband Jim bought Palms Krystal Bar & Grill Serving Chicken in the Rough©, a fixture in the Port Huron community which has been around for the better half of a century.

Located on at the same location on Pine Grove Avenue in Port Huron since 1936, Palms Krystal Bar & Grill is the last remaining Chicken in the Rough© franchise in the United States. 

“We've been in many, many businesses — business is in our blood,” says Linda Jovanovski. “My husband always loved the place itself and the area, so that was really attractive to us.”

Linda manages the kitchen and Jim takes care of the restaurant’s front of house. Their daughter Jamie Camaj and her husband Joseph also work at the restaurant.

Vintage menus, advertisements, and the history of Chicken in the Rough© are displayed on the walls in the restaurant.“People have been coming here for years and years and every time they come in they tell you stories,” says current owner Linda Jovanovski. “We have a carryout in the back and a lot of the older men said they used to come here after their paper route and get a bag of fries for five cents.”

And the dish that’s kept customers coming back for decades, and even generations? Their namesake, Chicken in the Rough©. 

“The chicken in the rough is the only thing that’s franchised here, everything else is our own,” says the restaurant’s chef, Kathy Spruytte. “We have ranch burgers and ribs and stuff like that, but the chicken is what people come here for.”

To learn more the history of Chicken in the Rough© or for catering options, visit

Ted’s Coney Island 

Darnell Horne, a cook at Ted's Coney Island in Port Huron, reads a ticket before preparing an order.
Coney dog lovers in the Blue Water Area won’t have to look far to satisfy their cravings. Adding to the three existing restaurants in Port Huron and Richmond, Ted’s Coney Island will soon be opening a fourth location in St. Clair. 

A server prepares a takeout order at Ted's Coney Island in Port Huron, Michigan.In 1985, Ted and Koula Pozios opened Ted’s Coney Island which serves diner cuisine including the classic Coney Island dog. Their son and current owner Paul Pozios now manages the business.   

“We love our customers and we try to give good service, good food,” says Paul Pozios. “The community has been great to our family.”

In addition to the iconic Coney dogs, Ted’s Coney Island offers diners all-day breakfast options, burgers, and a variety of sandwiches ranging from the Steak ‘N Cheese Hoagie to the popular Chicken Delite pita. 

To see restaurant locations or to view the full menu, visit

Nick’s Four Roses 

Nick's Four Roses co-owner Laureta Gashaj (right) poses for a photo with (from left) Chrystal Bolden, Kacey Whitenack, and Skye Conrad who work as servers at the restaurant.
Having always had a passion for cooking and an interest in owning a restaurant, Nike Gashaj and his wife Laureta, who are originally from Albania, opened Nick’s Four Roses in Port Huron in 2010. 

“There are not too many people that import here and are from our country,” says Laureta Gashaj. “Most of our family lives down in the Rochester area, but he grew up by the lake and our kids enjoy the water and the summer activities. So we moved here, built our business, and have been here for 19 years.”

The couple named the restaurant in honor of their daughters, and though they now have five, they decided to keep the name.

Nick’s Four Roses largely serves American fare, but the menu expands beyond that offering options such as quesadillas, saganaki, or a Polish skillet. Mostly everything is homemade and the skillets and chicken dinners are amongst the most popular dishes at the restaurant. 

For current hours of operation or to check out their full menu, visit

Louie’s Family Restaurant 

Founder of Louie's Family Restaurant Louie Dimoski (left) poses for a photo with his grandchildren Naudia (left) and Evelyn, and his son Jason Dimoski who is the general manager of the restaurant.
21 years ago Louie Dimoski and his wife Joanne opened Louie’s Family Restaurant in the Capac community, formerly known as the Village Pantry. 

Louie and Joanne both worked at the Village Pantry for many years. When the former owners were looking to retire the couple decided to purchase the business.

“It’s always been a family business,” says Jason Dimoski, the restaurant’s general manager and Louie and Joanne’s son. “My mom, my dad, my sister [Tania], and me, all worked together for many, many years.” 

Though Joanne has since passed away and Tania moved out of state to pursue a career, Dimoski says that Louie still works nearly every day, helping to open the restaurant, prepare the homemade soups, and cook a few mornings each week.  

“Starting a business in Capac is a very personal experience, being a part of a small town where you get to know many of your customers by name and they get to know you,” says Dimoski. “We see many of them regularly and we depend on our local patrons for their support.”  

Some of the most popular dishes at Louie’s include the breakfast skillet and the chicken parmesan, though Dimoski recommends his favorite — the chicken bacon ranch pizza.  

“I like to think we are unique because we make many of our dishes fresh,” says Dimoski. “All of our soups are homemade daily, our pizza dough is fresh from our homemade recipe and never frozen. We make our own meatloaf, we have great fish and chips, and our new baked pastas with our homemade meat sauce are becoming a dinner staple.”

Louie’s hours of operation and menu can be found online at

Read more articles by Liz Fredendall.

Liz Fredendall is a photojournalist and communications professional with nonprofit experience. In addition to her work with The Keel, Liz manages communications for the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, runs her own photography business, and writes for several publications. During her free time, Liz enjoys reading and exploring the Blue Water Area with her husband Erick and their corgi, Nori. Contact Liz at or follow her on Instagram @lizfredendallphoto.