Many want to keep this place a secret. It’s a slice of a true American farming community in the Thumb of Michigan. John Kinde founded the village in the 1880s during the region’s transition from lumbering to agriculture. A lumber yard, general store, grain elevator, and post office were established followed by a train station in 1882 for the Port Huron and Northwestern Railroad, (PH & NW).
Kinde was once renowned as the “Bean Capital of the World“. Michigan white navy bean soup has been a staple for over one hundred years in the U.S. Senate dining room in the form of Senate bean soup. (Find the recipe in our post of Unique Michigan Foods You Have to Try) While beans are still a huge agricultural focus in the Thumb the mighty sugar beet has nudged the venerable white bean from first place.
Kinde Polka Festival
Each year, the heritage of the area rises with the Kinde Polka Fest that is held each September. Polka groups from all over Michigan and the Midwest converge on the village for the entire weekend of music and fun. A 5k run is held on Saturday with a Breakfast held on Sunday. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for local students, school projects, and the Future Farmers of America.
Kinde offers a wonderful respite from the beach, the crowds in Port Austin, or craziness of Caseville during Cheeseburger. In the center of town, there is a giant water slide and miniature golf. Wiley’s Water Slide is a cool option on a hot summer day. If getting all wet doesn’t interest you, there is an ice cream store too.
The Pasta House
The local favorite and time-honored Biff’s Bowling & Bar is nearby on M-53. Built-in 1947, the bowling alley has been owned by the same family for three generations. Al and Kimberly Yageman brought out Al’s dad in 2003 and haven’t looked back. Yelp and Foursquare highly rated Biff’s and it has been noted for a great family atmosphere. They have a full kitchen and some of the coldest beer around. Today it’s for sale with the hope that a new family will take the reins of this family institution.
Most of the year-around folks in the Thumb consider The Pasta House a must-visit. While everyone raves about their pizza this author tends to go for their signature dishes of homemade ravioli and chicken Marcela. With banquet facilities next door, the Pasta House also draws special events, weddings, and large parties.
Heck’s Bar: The Center of the Universe
Finally, if you want a joint that is out of the ordinary head west of town to Heck’s Bar. This place is in what was once a thriving crossroads village of Pinnebog but today the Heck’s is the sole survivor. They offer one of the largest selections of craft beers in the area. The Friday fish fry and the famous Heckle burger are Heck’s specialties. The décor is a bit dated but they are working on it. The service is fast and conversation is pleasant as it’s never overly loud. It is somewhat kid-friendly with families surrounding large tables with grandkids in tow. So before you leave Kinde, come to the center of the Universe at Heck’s Bar.
Related Kinde Michigan Reading
- P-39 Fighter Discovered in the Great Lakes – In 2014, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was conducting a survey in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. David Losinski, who is part of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, was on the survey boat when, through the murky depths, they spotted the submerged door of the wreckage of the P-39.
- The End of Summer Bucket List in the Thumb – The calendar on your desk indicates that summer officially ends after Labor Day, but deep down you not quite ready to ditch the shorts and flip-flops for sweatshirts and football. It only really ends when you’ve done these 6 things at the end of summer in Michigan’s Thumb.
- The Bach General Store – Small villages dot the countryside of Michigan. This shot was taken at Bach Michigan. The Bach General Store, long since closed. Once the center of the community, these shops were a common sight in the days before Walmart and Dollar General.
- These Hometown Foods Scream That You’re from Michigan – There is nothing like the familiar foods of home. If you have spent any time in Michigan, you will find many posts for our love of UP Pasties, Faygo RedPop, BetterMade potato chips, and Vernor’s ginger ale. That is only the beginning. Michigan has unique and tasty varieties of comfort food dishes originating from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the Ohio and Indiana border.