Roz’s: A Local Diner with a Purpose

Story by Renae Sutton
Photo by Kelsey Wooten

If you venture a mere 7 miles north of Mount Pleasant, you will find the small village of Rosebush and the bustling eatery, Roz’s Diner.

Most days of the week, and especially on weekends, Roz’s Diner is jam-packed with customers. They come for the all-day breakfast, the friendly service, the delicious food and the sense of community the diner cultivates.

How Roz’s Came to Be
In fact, that community is what owners Chris and Megan Bair envisioned when they dreamed up Roz’s Diner several years ago.

Unfortunately, this story begins rather sadly – Roz, the diner’s namesake, was Chris’s mother, who passed away in 2007 after a battle with breast cancer. It is in her honor that he decided to start Roz’s Diner. She was a great advocate for community togetherness and it’s gathering places. Chris thought that creating a community gathering place in Rosebush would be a great way to keep his mother’s spirit alive.

And boy, has he done that! From the start of this project, Chris has had the community involved.

Nine years ago, Chris bought the old bank building at the intersection of Rosebush and North Mission Road, and for years he and Megan worked to transform it into the diner. In fact, they worked on it while maintaining full time jobs.

They weren’t alone in all their efforts; they always sought the involvement and support of the people of Rosebush. They held fundraisers and “Kickstarter” campaigns to help supplement their funding.

Word about the diner got around, and many people anxiously awaited the grand opening.

The opening of the diner in January of this year meant a lot to the people of Rosebush. Not only did it mean that they could get a good meal without going to Mount Pleasant or Clare, but it also meant that they had a place to gather over a meal with friends.

You see, the diner is small and very cozy. You could carry on a conversation with a friend two tables away without shouting too much, and the locals often do just that. The diner is perfect for catching up on the news of friends or meeting new friends. It is in part thanks to its quaintness that Roz’s can foster community like it does.

Serving Local
The diner supports Rosebush by providing a gathering place, but it also financially supports the farming community by sourcing as many ingredients as it can locally. That’s right, local food for local people.

Megan and Chris really wanted to support the people who help keep their restaurant in business by helping the local farmers. Al Bowerman, who was Chris’s high school math teacher, provides the beef from his farm. The sausage is provided by Crawford Farm. Matt Kampf, an old family friend and local fire chief, provides the lamb.

While lamb is popular around the globe, it is not usually found on restaurant menus in Central Michigan. However, thanks to Kampf Farms, Roz’s Diner is able to offer a lamb burger and lamb gyro. Megan loves that customers have been adventurous enough to try the lamb and that they keep coming back for more.

The lamb is prepared in a Mediterranean way with tzatziki sauce, red onions, and feta cheese. The chicken shawarma and falafel are also Mediterranean dishes on the menu at Roz’s. Not to worry if you’re not an adventurous type, Roz’s has many different beef burgers on the menu, including four specialty burgers.

They also serve all kinds of familiar sandwiches like cheesesteak, po’ boy, reuben, and club. A few of the sandwiches are also offered as salads. Like any good diner, Roz’s has a well-appreciated breakfast menu and breakfast is served all day.

Just because Roz’s is a diner in Rosebush for the Rosebush community doesn’t mean that Central Michigan University students are not welcome.

Just the opposite, in fact. Megan and Chris love their regulars, but they also love meeting new customers and getting to know them. They’ve had people from all over come visit their diner, even as far away as Ireland.

Give Roz’s Diner a try. You will love the atmosphere, the friendly staff, the delicious local food and the community.