While campus can be an enjoyable place, I often find that there are few special events to dis­tin­guish Friday nights from any other night of the week here. Fridays are meant to be not just enjoyable, but a blast. However, the closest larger towns are Lansing, Kala­mazoo, and Ann Arbor.

Those places have clubs, nice restau­rants, and museums, but some­times all you need is a great ham­burger.

And I found the perfect place: Ray’s Tavern in Reading, Mich. Serving up won­derful burgers, Ray’s is a small, hole-in-the wall restaurant on South Main Street, founded by Ray Rudelier and his wife Rosa.

This restaurant pro­vides just as much enjoyment as one in the city, and with a unique feel: drinks are served in pink cups and old-style lanterns adorn the lights.  On Friday nights, cus­tomers from Reading and else­where flood the restaurant.

Sherryl, a waitress at Ray’s com­mented on the diversity of the people who visit.

“You get all sorts of people here. You get the hometown ones, the people who own property on the lake, you get a lot of those, and the people just passing through,” she said.

From burgers, to fries, to spe­cialty onion rings, Ray’s offers these cus­tomers a variety of won­derful foods.

In April of 1989, USA Today pub­lished a search of the perfect burger, and Ray’s Tavern won first place in a nation-wide search. By the taste of things, Ray’s has con­tinued to make their burgers to per­fection. With fresh bread for the bun, plenty of top­pings, and deli­cious, juicy meat, a Ray’s burger is not an average burger.

The USA Today article is one of two articles on the wall at Ray’s. The other article is about a Hillsdale student named Tim Van Nuys. Ray’s showed their support for Van Nuys work as a con­stant attendee of the tavern by putting the article on their wall.

The restaurant has a wel­coming and casual feel. Many cus­tomers are on a first name basis. With just a short drive, you can escape usual campus life and expe­rience a new com­munity.

Ray’s is just one example in a long line of inter­esting weekend oppor­tu­nities available to stu­dents who are willing to search. So next time you are tempted to simply com­plain about the lack of local night life, open up your laptop and Google what’s in your neck of the woods. You just might find the “world’s perfect burger.” 


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Amanda Tindall
Amanda Tindall is the features editor of the Collegian. From northeastern Nebraska, she hopes to move back to the east coast after graduation in 2016. She has worked at the Washington Post Express and the Toledo Free Press, and her favorite form of writing is long-form features and magazine pieces. Email: