GROVE - A 69-year-old Grand Lake landmark with the help of a major facelift has reopened as a small outside walking mall with shops around the perimeter of a former restaurant.
The Shoppes at Honey Creek Landing and Marina was once the home of Lakeside Restaurant, known for it seafood cuisine. The mall sets at the southern end of Grove on U.S. Highway 59 on Main Street at the mouth of Honey Creek Bridge.
“The original Lakeside Restaurant was built in 1939, and a fire destroyed the building in the 1950s and later in the 1980s, said Jerry Gibbons, co-owner.
Pete Norwood, a retired US Airways pilot, and Gibbons, a retired St. Louis and Joplin physician, bought the restaurant in August 2007 after it sat in bankruptcy receivership and was closed down the last three years. They hire Reid Smith, of Curb Appeal Construction to begin remodeling in December.
Smith, who has spent 25 years in the construction business, moved back to his hometown of Grove in 1999, and for the last four years has been involved in designing premier luxury Grand Lake homes and business.
Part of Smith's plans in remodeling Lakeside Restaurant included using the original brick that adorned the aquatic blue building.
“Reid is a visionary,” Gibbons said. “It is the easiest thing to work with him; he takes care of all the problems.”
One problem facing Gibbons and Norwood was the size of the former restaurant.
“We realized 13,000-square-feet was too big for a restaurant,” Gibbons said.
So the co-owners had an auction, sold the kitchen equipment and gutted the building and left 4,000-square-feet to be used as a restaurant.
Located next to Honey Creek Landing Marina on Grand Lake, six shops call the former restaurant home, but Gibbons and Norwood are waiting for someone to lease the remaining footage with the idea of adding a seafood and steak house restaurant.
“We don't want a buffet or a beer joint,” Gibbons said. “We want a nice restaurant.”
All shops are upscale boutiques, including Millie's, an antique and furniture shop, Island Nation, a resort clothing store, Grand Panache, which features fine women's clothing, Salon Dessos, a spa, Honey Creek Boat Sales and Casali Gelato Café, a nostalgia and whimsical restaurant, which is expected to open the later part of July.
“It's a nice retirement job,” said Gibbons. “The downside is we are spending less time on the water.”
The men have also owned Honey Creek Landing Marina since August 2003.
The marina has 100 covered slips from 30' to 60' in length; including 14 slips an individual can pull their boat up to and leave to shop, cable TV, city water, and electricity at each slip, full service ship store and fuel dock, showers and laundry facilities for slip renters and a Regal Boat Dealer on site.
In addition to dock space, the marina rents out pontoon boats and jet skis. Prices range for $260 for a four-hour pontoon rental to a $485 for an eight-hour rental and Jet Skies rent for $50 an hour.
Gibbons said the current downslide in the economy has not affected the marina business.
Grand Lake is the most popular recreational lake in our state, he said.
“We are quickly becoming a popular destination point for our neighbors in Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas,” Gibbons said. “We want to make Honey Creek a destination place on the water.”