Michigan’s Best Local Dishes: ‘Dancing Sandwiches’ Sign Big Draw for Genesee County Bar and Grill

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BURTON, MI –A popular Burton bar and grill goes by two names.

While the local pub at 5519 Lapeer Rd in Burton is technically called BJ’s Bar, many call it “Dancing Sandwiches” because of its iconic, albeit confusing, sign.

The first thing people notice about BJ’s when they walk past the bar on the corner of Lapeer Road and Belsay is its sign. The sign has four signs indicating: “BJ’s”, “Bar”, “Cocktails” and “Dancing Sandwiches”.

Tim and Linda Jackson have owned BJ’s for five and a half years.

“When we say BJ people will say ‘Ohh, you mean Dancing Sandwiches,’” Linda Jackson said with a laugh.

The sign was made in the early 1970s, said Tim Jackson. The owner at the time, Betty Jean, had limited space to work after ordering the panel. So she combined the dancing and the sandwiches at the back, Tim said.

“It was on J Lenno. It was on David Letterman. Johnny Knoxville commented on it, ”said Tim.

While the sandwiches don’t really dance, BJ’s is known for its daily specials. The bar’s hamburger is one of its most popular dishes, but people also enjoy fish fry, coney dogs, sloppy joe, steak and onion, and BJ’s tacos.

Food is available in the restaurant, take out or through DoorDash.

As retirement neared, the couple decided to buy the bar on a whim. Tim had worked 32 years in the flight industry and Linda spent her career in education.

“We just walked in one day and asked the guy if he wanted to sell it and he did,” Tim said. “A year later, we became owners. It was not something we had planned.

When bars and restaurants were closed due to COVID-19 in 2020, Tim and Linda worked to renovate, replace rugs and redo BJ’s bar.

But the sign will never be replaced, Tim said.

The couple said they love every moment of owning the bar because of their amazing staff and customers.

“We love our customers,” Tim said. “We want them to come out with the experience we want when we go.”

BJ’s is open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Saturday and from noon to midnight on Sunday. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m.

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