R Place keeping a tradition alive

Business Spotlight/Owner’s grandparents had cafe in Spalding for more than a half-century

TROY AND AMANDA VERAGHEN opened R Place in the former LaBelle’s in Spalding in 2017. They have an extensive menu, with specials throughout the week. (Jim Paul/Daily News photo)

SPALDING — A coming-together of two businesses has created an area favorite in Spalding.

Troy Veraghen is a lifelong area resident and his family has a long history with food service. For more than a half-century his grandparents and then his parents owned and operated the Big R Cafe, a staple in the community.

Wanting to get off the road from his construction job to spend more time with family, Troy and wife Amanda Veraghen purchased the former LaBelle’s, which had closed a year earlier. The Veraghens decided on the name R Place, after the Big R Cafe. Many of the recipes come from the Big R Cafe.

Before they would open, a substantial amount of work had to be done on the building — new HVAC, bathrooms remodeled, updated kitchen and a new deck overlooking the Cedar River that was later added during COVID. The Veraghens also remodeled the attached living quarters. Troy Veraghen jokes about his short commute to work.

R Place opened in October 2017 and became popular with not only the local community but has people coming from Escanaba, Iron Mountain and Menominee. Troy Veraghen’s duties at R Place put him in the front of the house. Amanda Veraghen loves to cook and manages the kitchen as a self-taught chef who started out helping with a family catering business.

R PLACE IS at 3707 U.S. 2 and 41 in Spalding. (Jim Paul/Daily News photo)

“A five-star dive bar” is how Troy Veraghen describes R Place.

“You can get a prime rib dinner with a $2.50 Busch Light,” he said.

That homemade food, however, helps distinguish R Place from other restaurants, he said.

“Our food is a little better grade than what you find in other places. We stay away from the commercial thawed-out kind of thing,” Troy Veraghen said. “We buy a whole loin and butcher it in-house — that saves on costs and is better quality. We do not buy pre-made hamburger patties or tubes of beef. We buy locally and that is what separates us.”

R Place features a wide variety in its menu, with something for just about all tastes. The menu starts with appetizers such as poutine, salads, wraps, burgers and sandwiches. R Place also serves pasta, barbecued ribs and steaks.

There are specials throughout the week at R Place: taco Tuesdays, wing Wednesdays and ribs on Thursdays. Fridays have the traditional fish fry, featuring fresh Great Lakes walleye and yellow perch over ocean fish. Saturdays are prime rib and steak.

For those just stopping in for drinks or looking for a drink before dinner, Troy Veraghen says R Place is known for its old-fashioneds and also has on tap five kinds of beer from the Keweenaw Brewing Company.

R Place hosts a wide variety of musical acts as well, from acoustic performers to county and rock bands. In the summers, R Place hosts a volleyball league.

The Veraghens are proud to be a part of the Spalding and Powers communities and frequently sponsor youth sports. Sunday, R Place will host the Friday Night Lights Benefit to help raise money for new lights at the North Central football field. There will be a gun and bucket raffles, along with music from Leo G. The Fourth.

R Place is at 3707 U.S. 2 and 41 in Spalding. The kitchen is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Wednesdays and opens at 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Pizzas are served until the bar closes.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today