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A Family Tradition – Schuler’s is Pure Michigan’s Legendary Family Restaurant

April 2, 2020

For the past 111 years, Schuler’s Restaurant in historic downtown Marshall has operated as a family destination…a place where generations of families gather together to celebrate everything from graduations to engagements to retirements and more.

Just recently, Elizabeth Appel Frizzel shared her family story…dating back to the 1940s.

“My grandma, Natalie McKenzie, waited tables at Schuler’s growing up and Win helped her pay for college at Albion,” Elizabeth recounts from her current home in New York. Her grandmother went on to study English and later become a schoolteacher, where she met her future husband, Edward Stafinski. The couple married in 1951 at St. Mary’s, and held their wedding reception at Schuler’s (as well as their 50th anniversary party in 2001).

“Growing up when I would visit my grandparents in Marshall, we would always go to Schuler’s after mass across the street at St. Mary’s Catholic Church,” she said. Growing up in Vermont the daughter of Teri (Stafinski) and Tom Appel (both originally from Michigan), these gatherings became tradition when she visited during the summers.

“Each summer, my mom would take my sister, Kate, and me out to Michigan for the summer. My mom was a teacher, so she knew there was value in spending our summer with our grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins who all lived in Michigan,” Elizabeth recalled. “My dad would come out and join us whenever he could.”

Over the years, Schuler’s remained an important place for the cross-country family to gather, in both happy and sad times. When Natalie and Edward passed away in the fall of 2011, less than three months apart, it was Schuler’s that hosted the funeral luncheons afterward.

Elizabeth is the third generation in her family to find comfort and enjoyment inside Schuler’s.

“The first year we were dating, [2011] my now husband, Josh, surprised me by driving to Marshall from MSU to go to dinner at Schuler’s for my birthday,” says Elizabeth. Both attended college in East Lansing for undergraduate and graduate school – Josh (who was born in Michigan but raised in New York state) majored in accounting and Elizabeth studied to become a social studies teacher.

“Then, two years ago, we hosted my wedding shower there,” said Elizabeth, who now resides in New York with Josh, where she works for a state-funded not-for-profit while finishing her master’s degree.

But this story gets even better!

A few weeks ago, on February 16, Elizabeth and Josh welcomed their first child. A boy, who will forever be tied to the Michigan restaurant that has played such an important role in their family for nearly 80 years.

“We were inspired to name him Winston, partially due to the importance of Schuler’s in our family,” Elizabeth says proudly about introducing a fourth generation to the iconic restaurant (Win Schuler was the second of four generations to operate the award-winning restaurant).