In September of 2020, Lisa Craig and Larry Boitel bought Three Blind Mice with big plans in mind to make their mark in Mt. Clemens and surrounding areas. Lisa and Larry have succeeded in operating one of the greatest pubs in Michigan! You can come here for incredible food with hundreds of drink choices and weekly events, including the famous Blues Open Jam Night on Wednesday's each week.
The building in this 1905 colorized photo at 101 N. Gratiot (N.Main) is historically noteworthy because it's an example of local architect Theophilus (TIP) Van Damme's work, and it's association with the Prohibition era in Mount Clemens.
On March 2, 1900, Fred W. Maier bought a 40-foot-wide piece of property on the northwest corner of Gratiot and Market Street from Jacob Huss. Tip Designed a two-story brick structure for Maier which was to be called the Green Tree, and the tavern, which the Mount Clemens Monitor called, "a tasty place" opened in August 1900, with Fred and his wife Aloisia taking up residence on the second floor.
The 1903 Mount Clemens City Directory shows William H. Jaeger as the proprietor of the saloon, but property records show that Mr. Jaeger bought the watering hole from Mr. Maier on August 12, 1907. Around 1915, Charles A. Jaeger was the proprietor having taken over from his father, brother, or uncle; the relationship between the two men isn't known. Charles ran the Green Tree until he sold it to Herman Brugger and Elmer Rau on August 1, 1921. Herman later bought out Elmer's share of the business.
After the Brugger era, the Green Tree saw several owners and name changes: the Gold Leaf Lounge; Chrissy's; Main Street Tavern; the Voodoo Lounge; the One-O-One Saloon and since 2013, the Three Blind Mice Irish Pub. This building has been noted as the only one in the history of the city that has gotten better looking with age!
This 1920's era photo depicts a placid and serene looking restaurant, but behind it's wall of glass nefarious deeds were perpetrated on an inspecting little burg. On January 17, 1920 the Volstead Act went into effect in the United States ushering the era of prohibition which lasted until December 5, 1933, and that's when trouble began for the Green Tree. In May of 1919 when Charlie Jaeger still owned the establishment, he was arraigned before Justice William Sawn on a charge of selling booze. It is not known how he pleaded, but most likely he was fined.
On December 20, 1923 when Herman Brugger was the proprietor, sixteen state police officers raided the restaurant, and found a half barrel of beer which was partially drained. When taken before Justice William J. Dusse, Herman stood mute, and was released on a $1,000 bail. He went to trial in January 1924, was found guilty, fined $1,000, and earned a free one year stay at the Detroit House of Correction. Herman's scofflaw ways had finally caught up with him for he had been target of local, state, and federal officers for quite some time, but always managed to get acquitted, or fined only a small amount. The Green Tree was ordered to be padlocked.
Brugger's conviction must have warmed the heart of Reverend Dr. Thomas Sykes of the Presbyterian Church on that cold winter day, for he had been waging a yearlong campaign against bootlegging and liquor law violations in Macomb County, especially those violations committed by Herman Brugger.
The Green Tree's Federal padlock was finally removed on May 7, 1930, and Herman made extensive renovations to the ground floor.
In December of 1956, a fire started in the kitchen due to an overheated deer fryer, but since the Mount Clemens Fire Department was literally just across the street, the conflagration had no chance for life, and soon succumbed to the efforts put forth by the firemen.