Remembering Zack’s Restaurant

March 20, 2012




Bruce Miller


mcp blogger

About a half mile west of Amber Road on the north side of U.S. 10 was Zack’s Restaurant. Back in the early ’70s, the local people all called it Farrel’s.  Apparently, that was the name of the former business there.  Being a newby, I called it Zack’s.  A lot of people called it a truck stop.  Strictly speaking, since it had no fuel or other truck services, it was a restaurant with truck parking.  Open 24 hrs. a day year round, it had a steady flow of customers.  When I started , I was on the night shift going back and forth from Dow to Martin Marietta near Manistee.  Naturally, since Zack’s was open all night, I became a habitual customer. I quickly discovered that some people are quite different at 3 a.m. then at 3 p.m. 

Being a waitress at 3 a.m. must have been a major chore.  A thankless job which I am sure I could not perform.  It is a difficult thing to be “friendly but not familiar” under the best of circumstances, but when some one is “feeling no pain” it has got to be very difficult.  My hat is off to all who serve in such a capacity.  After some years, I went on the day shift and Zack’s was such a different place during the day.  It seems like just having daylight coming in the windows made a big difference. Being in the place so many times, I got to know the staff and Tony Zack pretty well.  They were all  major contributors to the well being of the community.          

Where can you go now in Mason county for food or coffee before starting the third shift? Where can a truck driver stop in the middle of the night and get food ? Tony Zack and his wife and staff of servers performed a great function, serving the community and travelers alike.  Some strange things happened there because of the type of business that it was.  It takes a special kind of person to run a place like that while keeping the help happy. 

Being retired, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to visit there quite as often as in the day.  It would be great to have it there yet for when the need arises, wouldn’t it?


Editor’s Note: Zack’s was torn down in the early 1990s to make way for the expanded U.S. 10-31 highway., Mason County’s Media Portal.


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