Family Ties: Dancing Crane Farm and Steinhaus Restaurant in Marquette

Cast Iron Hospitalities, LLC has been making a big impact in the Marquette food and beverage industry since 2013! Brothers and owners, Justin and Ryan Fairbanks manage two separate businesses, Steinhaus restaurant and Dancing Crane Farm, that work in tandem to support one another.

In 2013, Justin entered the Marquette dining scene opening the Steinhaus, which is now a beloved spot of locals and tourists alike. Justin graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC and has worked in several UP kitchens including the Harbor Haus in Copper Harbor and the Sweetwater, one of Marquette’s first ‘farm-to-table’ restaurants. 

Today, the Steinhaus prides itself in sourcing from local farmers, such as pork from Case Country, vegetables from Seeds and Spores and Mighty Soil, and eggs from Cloverland Farm. When the Fairbanks family purchased Dancing Crane Farm in Skandia from John and Wendy Frye in 2014, they were eager to shorten the connection between farm and restaurant. Ryan took over the farm and continues to grow seasonal produce, such as cabbage, greens, potatoes and garlic, selling directly to the Steinhaus. Along with an established garden, the previous owners passed on coffee roasting supplies, equipment and licensing. Ryan also took on the coffee component. His roasted beans are sold at the Marquette Food Co-op, the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, and his coffee is served by the cup at the Steinhaus.

“Coffee roasting allows us to support the farm during the portions of our year that aren’t hospitable to growing, and by using fair trade and organically certified coffees we’re also able to meaningfully support other farmers around the world,” shares Ryan. 

Justin and his restaurant team continue to develop relationships with farmers (beyond his brother) in the region. After 7 years leading the Steinhaus, Justin has a great staff in place in the restaurant, including their new executive Chef Marty White. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the farms for sourcing,” Marty shares. He adds that additional local products include a longtime relationship with Applekamp Farms for microgreens and shares they use Liberty Farms flour in their baking as well, including their signature pretzel. 

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the Steinhaus closed like many other restaurants. In their time of need, they asked for help and the community overwhelmingly supported them. This year, the Steinhaus started their Weltanschauung program, named after the German word for philosophy or worldview which embodies their dedication to giving back. Each Wednesday, the restaurant features a non-profit for guests to learn more about while dining. At the end of the night, a percentage of the net sales is donated to the organization. Since the program started, they have featured 9 non-profits including Social Justice for Us, Room at the Inn and the Marquette Women’s Center

The Fairbanks brothers support each other and their community, with the help of family and staff, while running their operations. The two businesses continue to grow in meaningful ways. You’ll soon be able to order Dancing Crane Coffee online and Steinhaus is working on introducing a deli cooler so you can purchase local eggs, delicious cheeses and their house-made sausages to help you stock your fridge. 

Stay up to date with all the happenings by checking out their social media! Follow Dancing Crane Farm on Instagram and Facebook. You can view the menu at the Steinhaus on their website as well as follow them on Instagram and Facebook

Alex Palzewicz is the Upper Peninsula Local Food Coordinator and has been dining at the Steinhaus since its opening back in 2013. They have more than just great food! They’ve got a great drink menu and beer list as well as amazing and fun loving staff. If you attend the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market be sure to swing by Dancing Crane Farm’s stand first for a cup of hot coffee! 

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