Wood-fired pizza, a drinkshare, and a Lake Superior bonfire make Fresh Coast Cabins the best Friday night destination in the Keweenaw.
Friday nights at Fresh Coast Cabins have become a much-anticipated weekly event for both us and our guests. This hosted bonfire tradition was born during our opening season of 2020. With everyone cooped up due to Covid restrictions, Fresh Coast Cabins offered a safe, driveable, and responsible haven for getting away. The Keweenaw is full of adventure, and our outdoor fire pit on Lake Superior is the perfect place to reconnect as humans.
We found that guests, who were up until then complete strangers, connected around the magic of the flickering fire. We all chatted, connected, and let the power of Lake Superior pick up any lulls in conversation. We talked about where guests were visiting from, what they were seeing during their visit, and since we’re into our craft beverages the conversation naturally migrated to our favorite drinks and then, of course, trading goods. Before we knew it, a Friday night tradition was born.
Fueling our love of beer, pizza, and cabin getaways
It’s no secret that we love cabins—there’s something special about the rustic feel of nature, coziness, and relaxation vibes they create for their inhabitants. We have made it our mission to build these experiences at Fresh Coast Cabins for our guests! Because who doesn’t need a bit more time unplugging and relaxing with the sound of waves in the background?
Some of our visitors are looking for a private getaway in the Keweenaw to relax in their own space, which we definitely offer. But there’s another layer here you might not find at some other spots—a natural space to reconnect with your fellow humans, meet other adventure seekers, and perhaps forge friendships that will transcend the borders of the Keweenaw.
This is what makes Friday nights at Fresh Coast Cabins so unique, and why we decided to turn an accidental happening into a weekly tradition.
The drinkshare: how it works
Think of the drinkshare as a way to share a bit about where you’re from with other guests. We attract folks from all over the Midwest and we’ve had east coast visitors, Texans, and many states in between visiting the Keweenaw.
Picture this. You bring your favorite pale ale from that quirky brewery around the corner from your place in Madison. On Friday night, bring it down to the fire pit and add it to the bar. It just so happens that Joe also loves pale ales and he brings something from Detroit. It’s fun to bring something from home that other folks might not have tried, and in return, you’ll get to try some new stuff.
Along with some other locally-brewed drinks, we’ll have our own creation to share from Barrel + Beam—one of our favorite local breweries located in Marquette. That’s a three-hour drive from the cabins, but thankfully, they bring the beer to us in a special Fresh Coast Cabins seasonal ale!
Beer is definitely our thing and the most common drink that guests share, but we don’t discriminate. Bubbly water, canned cocktails, and wine are all welcome! If you’re hankering for a particular beverage, head to The Genny in Copper Harbor to pick something from their selection.
All about that Ooni wood-fired pizza
We are here for any chance to bust out our Ooni Karu wood-fired pizza oven, because what could be better than eating a pizza cooked outdoors next to Lake Superior? You make your pizza, we cook it, you eat it. Huzzah. Bonus: Pizza cooks in 60 seconds or less so everyone gets a turn!
BYO Pizza to Superior Fridays
If you’re joining us for a Superior Friday, here are a few things to keep in mind to make your pizza experience even more spectacular than a bonfire next to the big lake. You bring the pizza and we’ll cook it for you!
Remember, the pizza oven isn’t giant so think personal or smaller-sized crusts for optimal rotation under the wood-fired goodness. If you’re making your own instead of a frozen option, you can prepare your ‘za in your cabin ahead of time but feel free to pop down if you have questions!
Plan Your Pizza Dinner with Us Three Different Ways
OPTION 1: Frozen pizza. Bring one of these for the simplest way to join the fun. Medium crusts work best (avoid deep dish if you can), and it needs to be smaller than 12” in diameter to fit in the Ooni.
OPTION 2: Pre-baked pizza dough. A little bit of prep but the optimal option that strikes the perfect balance between easy-to-prep and wood-fired flavors. We recommend Tiseo’s frozen pizza dough which is made here in Michigan.
- Allow 24 hours to thaw your dough in the fridge and then let it sit on the counter for an hour. If it’s bursting out of the bag, you’re doing it right.
- Separate the dough into two, similarly shaped balls
- This step is clutch for easy maneuvering in and out of the pizza oven—prebake your dough in your cabin’s oven for five minutes at 425F (this gives the pie a little structure so it slides off the pizza peel much easier!)
- Come down to the fire area a few minutes before 7:00 to snag a pizza peel
- Top your pizza in your cabin with all of your favorite fixins and bring the masterpiece down for firing
OPTION 3: Raw pizza dough. This process will be a bit more labor-intensive and requires you to bring more ingredients down to the pizza bar, but we can make it work. Form your dough with us by the big lake and top it. We have semolina flour and a pizza peel on hand to ensure your pizza won’t stick. Easily sliding into the oven is key!
Pizza Ingredient Recommendations
While it’s tempting to load up your pizza with a ton of delicious toppings, less is more so that your pizza doesn’t get too heavy which makes it tricky to get into the oven. Mozzarella cheese has a lot of moisture, so adding too much can leave your pizza weighed down and soggy. Sprinkle just enough to cover the sauce to keep your crust crispy.
Fresh Coast’s Favorite Pizza Recipe
After lots of practice (and then more practice), we’ve dialed in our favorite recipe!
Start with Tiseo’s frozen pizza dough. We’d love to make our own dough each week but who has time for that between cabin renovations!? Thaw it out 24 hours in advance and then shape each ball into two separate crusts. Stretch it out into a pie shape with your hands—no special gadgets required!
Prebake the dough in the oven at 425F for five minutes on a cookie sheet. This is a pro-tip we use so the pizza slides smoothly off the peel, which makes cooking outside so much easier! This also allows us to have more pizzas ready to go, which means more pizza eating.
- Apple maple bacon jam—use just enough to cover the pie as it’s rich with strong (and delicious) flavors.
- Crumbled goat cheese—yumm!
- Thinly-sliced prosciutto. Cover that whole pizza.
- Fresh arugula tossed with olive oil and light salt—add this after the pizza comes out of the oven.
- Bonus ingredient? Thinly sliced apples!
If your pizza interest is peaked, read more from Ooni about their 10 tips for launching the perfect pizza.
FAQs about Friday Nights at Fresh Coast Cabins
Where can I buy ingredients for my pizza making? Should I bring them from home?
There are great options at most local grocery stores. Some people bring take-and-bake pizzas from their favorite restaurants at home—this is awesome but be sure to get smaller sizes (no larger than 12″) so we can fit it in the oven. If you arrive with a pie too big to fit in the Ooni, we can fold it up to make a calzone!
I don’t eat pizza—should I still come?
Absolutely. Enjoy dinner at one of the Copper Harbor eateries and come have a drink or s’mores with us after.
How many bevvies should I bring to share?
Four to six is perfect but this is not a requirement.
Is this a family-friendly thing?
Yes, everyone is welcome.
How are you handling Covid precautions?
Please wash your hands in your cabin before you join us. There is hand sanitizer on-site and we still recommend social distancing around the large fire ring. Masks are encouraged when gathered close together, especially when preparing food—even outside.
Do you have a question we didn’t answer about Friday nights at Fresh Coast Cabins? Thinking about planning a trip to the Keweenaw and don’t know where to start? Reach out to us—we’d love to talk!