A game to watch and good food on the menu is what you’ll find at the recently opened MD’s Sports Tavern & Grill in Davison. Brothers Marty and Doug Madden, owners of longtime local watering hole Madden’s Lounge, were looking to pursue a new venture, and when Player’s Inn closed, the two saw their opportunity. Their dream was to open a sports bar that offered casual dining and great food, along with banquet facilities. What could be more perfect than to bring that dream to fruition in a location that was a Davison dining institution for over 100 years? “We took an abandoned building and created 50 jobs!” exclaimed Marty. Completely remodeled, the building maintains a rustic and casual atmosphere. The Maddens were ecstatic that they were able to hire Chef Pat Smith, formerly the chef at Ma’s and Pa’s. “Pat’s done a great job,” boasts Marty.
So, what’s on the menu at MD’s? The tavern, which opened its doors in December 2013, offers a distinct selection of appetizers, homemade soups and entrées to satisfy every taste. But their specialty is dry-rub barbecue, slow-smoked with applewood. “It starts with a chainsaw and an apple tree,” laughs Doug. He’s not joking though: they actually go out and cut the wood used in the smoking process. A stainless steel smoker sits in a room outside the kitchen, filling the air with the aroma of slow-smoked ribs, beef, pork and chicken. “We have homemade sauces to compliment our ribs, pulled pork and our house favorite – the beef brisket,” says Doug. “Our chef has perfected the art of dry-rub barbecue and when paired with one of his homemade sauces, it is simply nothing less than magic to your taste buds!”
Also popular is a yummy selection of pizzas cooked in an old-style oven, according to Doug. The MD Burger, a half-pound of Angus beef topped with applewood smoked bacon and ham with cheddar cheese gets rave reviews. Homemade tomato jalapeño soup – a top-seller – is made with a “pinch of this and a dab of that,” according to Marty. “The chef won’t share his secret recipes,” Doug laughed. Patrons are encouraged to have a great meal and watch the game on one of 16 big-screen TVs located throughout the premises. There are 14 craft and imported beers and 23 Michigan beers on tap, and libations also include cocktails and a good wine selection. For a more laid-back dining experience, MD’s presents live acoustic music on Friday evenings and on Saturday nights you can kick up your heels and dance to a variety of live bands. “We love our customers!” exclaims Marty. “It’s well worth your time to stop by and check us out. We’ve put a lot of care into it!”
Photography by Mike Naddeo