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Castaways is the Happening Place on the Kawkawlin River

Popular Entertainment Spot Also Sponsors Beach Volleyball, Horseshoe Toss

August 12, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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General Manager Billy Fila checks list of servers, cooks and bartenders for week's schedule.

For decades Bay Cityans have been drawn to a romantic riverfront café on the Kawkawlin River at the State Park Bridge.

You may have stopped in when it was Salays, Capt. Jake's. Maxey's, or Low Tide, and enjoyed a beverage in the open air or spacious barroom with dance floor.

Castaways, as the place is now called, is more popular than ever under owner Lori Dole who has held sway there for the past six years with help from Billy Fila, an ex-Marine who has been general manager during her ownership. Ms. Dole is an entrepreneur from Saginaw who now lives in Bangor Township.

Why is the place so busy?

"We pride ourselves on customer service; that is our number one priority," said Mr. Fila, scanning the staff list that includes six cooks, 19 wait staff and three bartenders.

"Also, we have excellent food and that really brings in the people," he said.

Castaways is located at 3940 Boy Scout Road; phone is 686-3558. You can access the menu by clicking their ad on

A check of several local entertainment-restaurant experts confirms that Castaways has built a reputation as a place for great food and a variety of entertainment. Plus it has the exotic, for Bay City, location on the river.

Riverfront bar sports dining deck, canopies, boat docks for transient customers.

Mr. Fila estimates that weekly crowds number in the thousands, attracted by a variety of entertainment programs such as:

  • Monday nights, Jason Jewell, illusionist, with programs at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.;

  • Tuesdays, Bike Nite for motorcycle enthusiasts revved up by Z-93 Radio; (An estimated 500 to 800 bikers often show up for Bike Nite, says Mr. Fila.)

  • Wednesdays, Jedi Mind Trip and pizza and pitchers of pop or beer for $12; Radio 102.5 broadcasts live from 9-12 p.m.;

  • Weekends: live bands Friday and Saturday nights;

  • Sundays, Dan & Noel from Jedi provide acoustic music on the deck from 5-8 p.m.

    A volleyball league with 19 teams is in action Mondays through Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and horseshoe tossing competition is held periodically.

    During the boating season customers in small boats come and go with regularity, tying up at the 12 docks in front of Castaways for a quick stop or an afternoon or evening of fun. Then the watercraft is handy for the trip home or to the marina.

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    Dave Rogers

    Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
    respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
    (Contact Dave Via Email at

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