Our Story

Freighters Eatery & Taproom is a culinary destination on the St. Clair River in Port Huron. Connected to the DoubleTree by Hilton as well as the Blue Water Area Convention Center, Freighters serves as a multi-faceted member of the community.

We are deeply rooted in our “Commit to the Mitt” philosophy. This mantra is the driving force behind our passion for community involvement, as well as our scratch-made menus. Freighters’ Executive Chef Jared Beach and his Culinary Team work with a variety of local vendors and suppliers to incorporate the freshest ingredients into our seasonal menus. The creativity of Chef Jared’s recipes are complemented by our extensive beverage program, featuring a list of local libations, including - artisan cocktails, Michigan craft beers & wines.

Freighters’ outdoor riverfront seating, creative menu items and multi-faceted in-house events leave no one wondering why they have coined the term “Uncommon Hospitality.” Freighters’ commitment to Michigan begins with their menu, but is reinforced by their continued community involvement and passion for exceptional customer service.

Welcome to Freighters Eatery & Taproom!

Get to Know Chef Jared Beach

Growing up a restless youth right here in Port Huron, I couldn’t wait to be anywhere but here. So, I decided to go to college. This seemed a logical choice for a young man bound to conquer the world but not sure where to start.

I needed a job to pay for school so I began cooking at a brewery in metro Detroit. The folks I worked with were really great cooks. This fascination started pulling my interest toward the restaurant and away from school.

On a whim, I moved to Chicago. I started working as a prep cook at an Italian place called Carmines right on Rush St. This place sold over a hundred pounds of spaghetti daily and the chef was the only other person who spoke English. I was amazed and overwhelmed. I immersed myself in the culture of the kitchen. I cut myself. I burned myself. I mirrored the techniques of my new mentor. I stayed on at Carmines for about 7 years, managing a staff of over 40 employees. I eventually worked my way up to Sous Chef.

For the next 12 years I worked my way around Chicago.I put in time at the Doubletree, Markethouse, Lawry’s, Levy Restaurants, Rosebud, and Howells & Hood to name a few. I also met my wife in a restaurant. We worked together briefly and bonded over our love of food.

My interest in food was inspired by my grandfather. He was a fiery old French-Canadian who fought at Normandy. He always had a garden on the side of his house he was so proud of. I’ve never tasted better tomatoes. We would go to his house on Sunday afternoons for dinner. There was always a stew or something braising and a relish tray. These memories are as delicious as nostalgic.

I love to garden. It started as a hobby and has become somewhat of an obsession. I started growing tomatoes in pickle buckets on my balcony in the city. Now I have a yard and the possibilities are endless, kind of. It teaches me to be patient. It teaches me to let go. It has given me a true appreciation for the beauty and the perseverance of nature. Plus, being able to grow something from a seed that you can eat and sustain your own life is pretty amazing.

I liked “growing things” so much that my wife and I decided to have a family. We had our first child and just like that, we knew the city was no place we wanted to raise our kids. I wanted my kids to experience all the variety great things I experienced growing up back in Michigan. Suddenly, Port Huron didn’t seem like such a bad place to grow up.

Meritage Hospitality Group

Meritage is all about challenging the norms of what people have come to expect from their dining experiences.

The landscape of dining is changing, but we are a company committed to executing the basics exceptionally well. It is our mission to provide each guest with “Uncommon Hospitality,” by providing our communities with innovative food, drinks & service in a welcoming, energetic atmosphere.

Our Chef driven, ingredient inspired menus are at the heart of all we do & our Culinary Team puts their heart and soul into every recipe. Our innovative line of craft cocktails, beer and wine are designed to complement our cuisine and highlight the personalities of our unique bar staff.

Each restaurant complements the character of its locale, seeking to be a place of relaxation, enjoyment & excitement for each of our guests. With 4 concepts and 6 restaurants, we invite you to get to know the many personalities of Meritage Hospitality Group.

We hope to see you soon. Cheers!



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