Bowdie’s Chophouse

Website design, custom photography, and menu design

Developed by Northbound Studio |

Bowdie’s Chophouse has become a Saugatuck favorite in the three years since it opened in 2014. Housed in a small cottage, Bowdie’s is home to some of the best steaks in Michigan. It’s family-owned and run by a closely-knit staff who are passionate about delivering quality. We were very excited to help them build their brand through the development of a website, a menu redesign, and custom photography.

Bowdie’s reputation for quality has grown organically since they moved into the unassuming, charming cottage downtown Saugatuck and began wowing natives and tourists alike who happened to stumble upon it. They have grown in popularity so much that the intimate dining room and bar are now reservation-only. The website is a major improvement in easing the reservation process, both for guests and staff. It also serves to unveil the mystery and bring Bowdie’s to those who aren’t yet in-the-know.

Reservations Online

This website is a first for Bowdie’s. Up until now they had no web presence, and simply relied on their social media pages and word of mouth. Now, they are able to reach a much wider audience outside of Saugatuck and even Michigan. Adding the reservation feature to the website was an easy step that will allow them to expedite the whole process for their guests. The Open Table widget for WordPress brings guests directly to Bowdie’s page, where guests no longer see competitive information, and are instead given exactly what they are looking for.

Custom Photography

Brad Bruce, from Images B does a great job when it comes to custom photography. We always advise custom photography with any website build and Bowdie’s was more than happy to go this route. Brad set up the shots prior to the food being cooked so that we could capture that hot-off-the-grill steam. While the food presentation certainly reveals that it is high-quality, the lighting and styling of the photos only elevate the look.

Bowdie’s food speaks for itself. The chef and his staff take great care to ensure that their food both looks and tastes its best. Naturally, it’s very photogenic. Our challenge was to differentiate our photography from the photography commonly used by chain restaurants. Our goal was to show the level of cuisine offered. The staff at Bowdie’s took the time to invite us in to show us how they prepare the food and drinks. We learned how the everything was made and had fun shooting the fresh ingredients before and after the chef was done transforming them. The images that we ended up with are clearly unique to Bowdie’s. Click through below to see the shots, but be warned — you’ll want to eat after and the lunch you packed probably won’t cut it.

Menu Design

Menus are a great way for restaurants to tell their stories. With its exclusive dining room, beautiful bar, and white linens, Bowdie’s has the unmistakable vibe of a prohibition-era speakeasy. There is even an old rotary phone hanging by the bar. Its cool cocktails with unique names, and classically perfected steaks add to the picture. We wanted to complete the story with a menu that felt similarly stuck in time. The newspaper inspired menus are easy to navigate, and subtle, yet clearly fit into the story and add to the guest experience.