The owner of the famous Gracie restaurant in New Luthrop dies at the age of 85

NEW LAUTROBE, Michigan — The woman whose restaurant served up the steak and cinnamon rolls that drew customers from across Michigan to this small Chihuahua County village has died at the age of 85.

Grace Perdina Ute passed away on Sunday, May 22, according to an obituary published by McGeehan Funeral Homes New Lothrop Chapel.

Born in New Lothrop, Yott became one of the most famous citizens of the village, opening Gracie’s Restaurant in the early 1970s and operating it for more than 20 years.

The Flint Journal told in 2001 that customers can expect a taste of home when they visit, including a huge salad bar featuring old-fashioned offerings such as a liver dish, giblets in brine and pickled beets.

“The only thing we don’t do (at home) is cheese,” she said at the time. “Everything else we make…”

Ute, whose father, Cliff Conver, was a rancher and grocer, was famous for her steaks in her restaurant. In August 1988, Midwest Living magazine named Gracey Michigan’s #1 steakhouse.

Yott not only owned the restaurant, which was located two miles west of M-13 and eight miles north of M-21, but also became a face of business, receiving customers and speaking with them regularly at their tables.

She once described the restaurant’s black and red decor, mirrors, and cascading chandeliers as a clash between home and glamor—”part Las Vegas, part ranch.”

The restaurant was auctioned about five years ago, according to Flint Journal files.

Yutt’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 26 at First United Methodist Church in New Luthrup, where she was a member. Visit from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 at the chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Twin Township Ambulance, New Lothrop Public Schools, or First United Methodist Church are suggested.

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