The 11th Annual Great Lakes Grand Prix is almost here and race fever is upon us. Featuring some of the fastest and most powerful offshore power boats, the race is an immensely popular event that draws vast crowds to the area. The event showcases Washington Park Beach and the amazing Lake Michigan shoreline right here in LaPorte County—soon to be filled with the sights and sounds of these machines racing along over the surface of the water at incredible speeds.
All the excitement is sure to work up an incredible appetite, not just for speed, but for the taste of some amazing local food options. Patrick’s Grille is once again revving up to meet the task.
Julie Krause, catering and events manager at Patrick’s Grille, said that preparing for the event is a collaborative effort, with everyone at Patrick’s Grille and its sister ventures pulling together.
“We all have to work together, all three venues,” Krause said. “We have to make sure that we have the staffing we need for this event, and there is a lot of setup involved. We feed 200 people on Thursday night, then another 600 on Sunday, so that’s a lot of food prep, a lot of equipment that needs to be moved and set up to accommodate that amount of people.”
Sunset Grille offers a reception for the boaters when they arrive at Washington Park Beach on Thursday night, an event that kicks off the weekend activity.
“We host [the reception] on the rooftop at Sunset Grill, and we donate the food for that event,” Krause said. “Then, through Patrick’s Catering and Events, we’ll be doing a Sunday brunch at the waterfront for all the VIP guests attending the event.”
Patrick’s Grille is also sponsoring one of the boats, the Yabba Dabba Do.
“We help fund them for their expenses to travel here to attend the race, and we also provide food for them during their time here,” Krause said.
Krause said that, for those at Patrick’s, being invested in the community is simply a part of their culture.
“Patrick’s is a locally-owned and operated business. We support the community that supports us. We always want to be able to give back, whether it’s helping the Rotary Club here in Michigan City with their weekly meetings, or some of the other events we are involved with,” she said. “We also work closely with the Chamber of Commerce. Being involved with the community is something that is very important to all of us at Patrick’s.”
In the spirit of the Grand Prix, they’re offering something new this year—a breakfast special and Bloody Mary bar for early birds heading to the races.
“On Sunday evening, following the close of the races, we’ll be offering live entertainment, featuring the duo Soul Shine, to help people relax and unwind from the weekend, and Sunset Grille is the perfect place to do that,” Krause said. “We just have the best view there. You’re right there on the beach, on the rooftop and it’s just amazing.”
Of course, those who want to avoid the beach altogether are more than welcome to camp out at Patrick’s Grille on Franklin Street on the south side of Michigan City. With their renowned steaks, burgers, and fresh Atlantic salmon, the restaurant offers something for everyone.
For more information about the race, visit the official race website at Greatlakesgrandprix.com. To keep up with the events happening at Sunset Grille, follow their Facebook page. And don’t forget to visit Patrick’s Grille online at http://www.patricksgrille.com/.