Harper’s Restaurant & Brewpub was founded September 6, 1997 and named after Thomas Harper O’Brien, a graduate from the Michigan Agricultural College (M.S.U.). He’s the father of Trisha O’Brien Riley another Spartan grad. Born in East Lansing. Trisha and her husband Pat bought Dooley’s in East Lansing to build the first brewpub and music venue to encompass Tom’s passion for enjoying the company of others, especially fellow Spartans. This passion drove him to recruit high school players for the M.S.U. football program, so much so, that when it was deemed that only students could help recruit, Tom went back to school at the age of 70. Today, Harper O’Brien Riley, Tom’s grandson, carries on his legacy as a true Spartan combining his love for the community with his commitment to real hospitality.
This East Lansing neighborhood gathering place is truly a family affair, beginning with the Riley family, Pat, Trisha, Brittlyn (Richard), Chanelle (Michael) and Harper, literally laying all of the ceramic tiles on the floors and walls, to operating the business or making creative elements for the overall décor. Shelly Toth (Financial Manager), Samantha Bahnweg (GM), Kirk Kowalski (brewmaster), Zulma Ayala and Allen Hines (kitchen leadership team) are Harper’s extended family, ready to serve each and every customer with a smile. Along with this service comes great fun food, exclusive beer and drinks, and dancing too! Couple this loyal and devoted team with approximately 80 other ready-to-serve team players and you have a true team of professionals ready to make your day better and brighter.