Under the able stewardship of Tanya Meszaros since 2007, the Lakeview Tavern has become a hub of activity in Stone Mills Township.
Always a popular ‘watering hole’ for many generations, the Lakeview has been more of a meeting place and restaurant than ‘tavern’ these days, catering to families, couples and community groups.
Located ideally along County Road 41 in Erinsville, the Lakeview is a full-service establishment that has cultivated a truly down-home, welcoming atmosphere.
“It kind of reminds me of the TV show Cheers where everybody knows your name. You see a lot of the same people in here but then you get new people coming in all the time. In the winter months you have lots of locals coming in, and it’s very family oriented like someone’s big rec room. A lot of people might think it’s still a tavern just for drinking but it’s not like that. It’s more of a restaurant and a place for people to gather and enjoy each others company,” said Meszaros.
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Meszaros has worked hard to craft offerings that appeal to a broad cross-section of tastes and palates.
“We are fully licensed and have your typical bar-type food: steak, wings, burgers, wraps. We have a pretty extensive menu with things like surf ‘n turf, liver and onions, fish and chips. We have specials on the weekends and Sundays we are open for breakfast. A few nights of the year it’s more like a bar but most of the time it is a restaurant and gathering place.”
She tries to make occasions like St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day special for the regulars, but as soon as the weather warms up Meszaros and her crew really kick things into high gear, taking advantage of the ample tourist travel as well as the influx of seasonal residents on Beaver Lake with a number of special events.
“We do a lot of fishing and hunting things. We have a fishing derby, a coyote derby, and things like that. In the summer we have a lot of outdoor events. I get a special license and I can fence off the parking lot and we have bands playing on the patio,” she said, explaining that the Lakeview has been one of the primary sponsors of the power boat races that take place on Beaver Lake, which draws aficionados from around the area to Stone Mills Township.
“I have been supporting them since they started, even going to council on their behalf. It’s a huge community event.”
“It’s super important to get involved in the community like this. Anything that can help draw people to the area is not just good for our business, but for the whole area. Even for tourists and the cottagers I still like to keep things fresh and try different things for them. If there’s anything going on in this area, I would love to be involved even if someone else is putting it on.”
Music has become a big draw for patrons of the Lakeview as well. Meszaros said she runs live bands every other weekend in the off-season and every weekend during the summer.
“I try to bring in acts that appeal to everyone, not just one group. I do get a lot of country and bluegrass because the majority of people are into that. And sometimes I bring in a comedy show. That’s not for everyone, but it’s to get in a different crowd from time to time.”
Meszaros has never run a business before moving to Erinsville and credits the decision to learn the ropes running the General Store as helping prepare her for running a busy restaurant and tavern.
“We learned a lot along the way. You have to learn about things like the Health Code, Fire Code and you have to keep up with things like that because they are constantly changing. I taught myself how to do taxes and inventory and payroll. It’s not like having the store, though. There’s more staff, more revenue going through. It comes down to being organized. You have to be really organized not just to run the restaurant but to organize all the special events and also staying on top of the various licenses,” she said, adding that Township staff and folks with L&A County have been extremely helpful.
Although she spent much of her life living in the GTA, Meszaros said she wouldn’t trade it for the lifestyle she has now. Dealing with the people living in Stone Mills and the people who travel to the region, is the most rewarding experience of doing business in Lennox & Addington.
“It’s like a whole different world here. You will never find a nicer group of people. Everybody is so friendly and helpful. The sense of community is unbelievable. Coming from the city I had never seen anything like this. Moving here, it was hard to get used to everyone waving and saying hi. I lived in a townhouse complex for 10 years and never met my neighbours once living in Burlington. So the friendliness and willingness to help has been incredible. It’s so much fun.”
For more information on the Lakeview Tavern, visit their Facebook Group or call 613-379-5550.