By Helen Hermes
Continuing our out and about short trips from our campsite, we discovered a very good restaurant for lunch and dinner. It is located in the town of Topinabee about two or three minutes from our home base at Indian River RV Resort. The name of the restaurant is “Breakers.” The owner, Derek Schittekat, bought the restaurant with his father in 2005. The original building was built in the 1940s and was named “Evergreen.”
Our second time eating at Breakers, we overheard a conversation regarding a flood that caused damage to the restaurant. Naturally, curiosity was peaked so it was time to find out about this historical epic happening. Like all good storytellers, I asked for an interview with the owner. It was granted. However, there was no flood of the century. The great flood turned out to be a pipe that burst in 2012 which took five and half weeks to repair.
The previous owners Dave and Sandy Myers operated the business as a clubhouse. Derek used his fifteen years of restaurant experience beginning as a busboy learning all the tasks including waiter, barback, bartender, cook which are the roots of restaurant business.
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When the no-smoking law was passed, Derek was wise and adapted the bar/restaurant to a family-oriented restaurant and sports bar. For the new atmosphere, all the wall decorations were removed so the walls could be scrubbed down with bleach and Murphy’s Oil. The decorations were rehung keeping a sports atmosphere and yet inviting for families.
In 2012, Derek remodeled the building. The kitchen was enlarged from nine feet by ten feet to a nine hundred square foot kitchen. The upstairs was added and the parking lot was paved. There is outdoor patio seating on the ground level and upper level. The outdoor setting gives a nice view of Mullet Lake.
Breakers is opened all year round. There are many regular customers that make Breakers a definite go-to place whenever they are up for the summer, winter fun or weekend. The summer hours are twelve noon to nine o’clock in the evening, seven days a week. Off-season the hours are from four o’clock to nine o’clock in the evening Monday through Friday. Weekend hours are from twelve noon until nine in the evening.
There is a regular staff of twelve all year and during the busy season, there is about another thirty employees. The restaurant is Derek’s pride. So far, we can agree with the reviews that say the food is very, very good. We have enjoyed the cherry salad, Ruben sandwich (the meat was very tender and the kraut did not bite) and the pizza was good. Before we said goodbye to our vacation site, we enjoyed one more visit to “Breakers”, yum!
Helen is retired from a career involving mostly in data processing. She started in data entry and advanced to data entry supervisor and then into computer operations, programming, system analyst and middle management. She owned her own data services company that provided service to Ford Motor Company, Blue Cross, Chrysler, ASI, School Districts and many other businesses. After five and a half years, Helen sold to her partner. She and her husband moved to the Rose City, MI area to farm. After ten years of commuting back and forth to Detroit, a final move back to Farmington Hills was made.
During her life, Helen attended various college classes that included computer programming, business law, English composition, accounting, and other courses. She taught enrichment classes at Kirkland Community College, tutored reading classes in Port Huron for six years, was chairperson of the St Clair County Master Gardener’s Club for four years, was head trustee at Immanuel Lutheran Church for eight years, Chairperson of the Women’s Group at Holy Redeemer Church for four years, past secretary, vice chair, and chair of other various committees for the St Clair County GOP (member since 2008).
Helen and her husband, Jack have lived in Clyde Township for thirty years where they build their home. While living in Clyde they have traveled in every state of the United States. After visiting all the states, they journeyed to other countries in Europe, Eastern Europe (before EU), China, Thailand, Mexico, Columbia, Panama Canal, and others.