You'll do a double-take at the Lakeside.
Upon first glance, the restaurant located on Saylors Lake in Saylorsburg seems to be a small joint, but once inside, you’re met with fun decor; mirrors; a cool lit bar; a spacious dining area, room for a stage; and a breathtaking view. And man, that view.
Owner Henry Callie bought the place in 2014 after working 36 years in advertising. He’s also a lifelong musician, which makes for a fun night out for all when he and some pals jam live.
Although strumming his guitar makes him happy, when he envisioned running the business, it was the lake and the location that took center stage.
"I can tell you the only reason I bought this place is because it's sitting on this lake. There's a lot of great restaurants around, and you can get a good meal at a lot of different places. What did I want to have that's going to be a little different, well, my restaurant is on a lake," Callie said. "And there are a few of them around in the Poconos, but there's nothing like this down in the Lehigh Valley. Anyone from the Lehigh Valley that wants to go sit by a lake to have dinner is probably going to hit this place first. Some people consider that we're in the Poconos and some consider us in the Lehigh Valley."
Callie says a lot of folks take notice of the outside versus in.
"I think the thing that I've heard most in five years when people come in is that they didn't expect to see something as big as this is. When you see the front of the building the stone is nice, but it only looks one way," he said. "It's very deceiving. The building itself, the original building, was built in the 1940s, so there's nothing new about the building at all. There have been additions and stuff, but my understanding is that the dining area used to be an open porch area, but a lot of the local people have been familiar with this place for a very long time."
The place is always rockin’ — especially on Fridays during Live Jam Night when you can bring your instrument and show off your talents.
"People come in, they sign up and then it's just sort of a random jam session. It's very interesting because you never know what to expect. Surprisingly, a lot of people that come in are really good musicians. It's fun. We usually do that throughout the winter months until the weather changes and business picks up," Callie said.
On Saturdays, the place also gets hopping when local cover bands show up. There’s never a cover charge to come and enjoy some classic rock tunes and plenty of dance space available. Upcoming bands include Big Bone Daddy on Saturday, Off the Road with Greg Smith on Feb. 22 and Group Du Jour on Feb. 29.
When it comes docking you and yours at the Lakeside it's whatever floats your boat. Looking to converse: Head to the bar and make friends with the restaurant’s charming staff. Feeling vain: Grab a table by the mirror. Dig nature: Sit by the lake and watch the ducks waddle by.
Get into the spirit: Like most things in the Poconos, things change depending on the season. Warmer weather brings in more music and local bands; summer-inspired salads and seafood dishes (lobster, please!) and a tiki bar on the outdoor deck.
Overall, the menu consists of what Callie refers to as "traditional Americana."
"We have terrific burgers, (Philly) cheesesteaks and chicken cheesesteaks, but our entrees you can get pasta with shrimp and scallops, a steak various depending on the cuts we bring that week. Our chicken pot pie and meatloaf sell like crazy," he said.
The tips: Weekly specials include reduced-priced tacos on Taco Tuesdays; half-priced appetizers and $8 wings on Wednesdays (grilled or fried); Crazy 8s on Thursdays (select menu items cost $8) and $1 Miller and Yuengling drafts from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Drink suggestions: The Lakeside Lifesaver Martini (raspberry vodka, Malibu coconut rum, melon-flavored liqueur, sour mix, and grenadine) and the chocolate martini (chocolate liqueur, vodka, cocoa creme, heavy cream, topped with chocolate syrup).
Happy Hour: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday.
If you go: 5154 Hamilton St., Saylorsburg; 570-801-7654, facebook.com/thelakesidesaylorsburg
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