The Lodge at Mountain Lake
I saw this restaurant on the lake has been for sale for a long time. I'm relatively new to this area and was wondering why it hasn't been purchased. There are really no restaurants in the immediate area and I know I would go.
used to be the Beach Bar till the mid 80s, then a restaurant/bar called Seasons into the 90s, then came the Lodge which closed a number of years ago and is now owned by the township.
Kelly, if you want the answer think about whether you would want to try to reopen it.
Unfortunately, the community around the lake is a bit too small to really support the place, and the place itself is on the small side.
I would love it if someone tried to make a go of it: as a hot dog place, casual dining, dive bar, whatever. I'd be there.
It has been closed since 2006-2007 timeframe- the previous owner just got tired of the long hours and got out of the business. Not sure where the liquor license went, or if the town of Liberty still has it- I have heard conflicting stories.
It was pretty good inside until it closed, the previous owners really had the bar and dining area nice. They were doing music on the back deck on Sundays- and the parking lot was full. Then, sold and then...... nothing.
Liberty Township then attempted to auction it off a few times, nothing came from it. One bidder was confirmed, then couldnt come up with the money. Liberty had a set amount they wanted to get from the property, and other bidders who would have had the business up and running, such as the owner of Mama's in Hackettstown- bid, but were turned down because the town thought they had a property worth more than they would accept. In hindsight, maybe a bad decision, since we see what happened next, the owner of Mama's went to Rt.46 and bought the Bello Giorno- which has really become a first class looking facility that host weddings. That should have been the fate of the Lodge- but it was not to be.
Extensive and costly upgrades were made to the roof and and a brand new septic system was installed in approx the 2007-2008 timeframe. I think the town hoped those upgrades, plus repaving and expanding the parking lot would bring in the bidders. It didnt work.
The kitchen is very small for a commercial establishment and would be a big drawback to a potential buyer.
So, we are now 10-11 years down the road, with a building that only is decaying year after year. What the plan is, I am not sure.
This building would be better served being donated to the community or to the firehouse to allow them to use for events- our tax dollars helped renovate it, but it sits idle- I dont understand it myself, but at the same time, I am not in a position to know all of the background details on the decision making at the time- just seems like Liberty may want to finally move on and finally sell it, if anyone is even interested anymore, just to get some of the investment back.
The longer it sits with no occupant, the value will only go down.
No one seems to mention that the area the building is in is a bit run down. There's an empty pool or something that's overgrown with weeds an a rusted, dilapidated fence across the street from the building. Plus some of the homes along the lake have old, run down docks. The area basically looks like a bunch of hillbillies live there.
Well, yea, that's right :)
I don't believe the Shiano Family was looking at buying the Lodge instead of Bello Giorno. Didn't they already own the building as a pizza place and re-do it into the catering hall it is now around 2005ish? Perhaps they were considering it later, but it would have been in addition to, not in place of, Bello Giorno.
"The longer it sits with no occupant, the value will only go down."
So true, The Rhyme Animal.
I never understand that about the whole foreclosure process. Empty unoccupied homes sit for years before the banks do anything with them. Our house was built in 2005, foreclosed on and probably vacant by 2008, and sat dilapidating until we purchased it at auction in 2015. It was basically a wasteland.
If you are interested, then reach out to the town clerk. It is my understanding that the liquor license was sold. It is not making the Towne any money sitting there.
The town should drop the price to 200,000 offer five years no property tax or be turned into a teaching aid for the county collage and warren tech food sevice programs where students and put there education to the test
I miss that place and the Casino. Those two bars made The Lake a great sunny day destination. Great times.
Caged Animal, I agree with you. Maybe they will offer some kind of incentive. I would love to see it re-open. I know I would try it out.
The Rhyme Animal, a community building would be a fabulous idea! I'm sure people would like to rent it for functions. I just hate seeing it sit there.
I have never even worked in a restaurant, but I have been tossing around the idea of looking into this place. So yes, MrCharlie, I have thought about it a bit. Of course, I have the same concern,(besides by lack of restaurant knowledge other than a patron lol!), would it be supported by the community?
Thanks for all of your input!
Just saying....there is no pool on The Lodge's Property. The town has cleaned up & repaired the cement fishing pier. "A rusted dilapidated fence across the street" is not going to affect if people went to a restaurant! The home owners whom may have run down docks also will not affect people going to a restaurant ! No one seems to mind any of that when they come up to see the community's fireworks every summer or go to the firehouse events!
Kelly3aac.....the lake used to have a very small general store ages ago that did a good business with sandwiches and pizza. The Lodge did well but as someone said..the restaurant business takes it's toll on people sometimes. The are is often along the route of several motorcycle cruises and arranging cruise night or other something else would draw those out enjoying a ride.In the summer, a car cruise night would be another hit there, plenty of room. Everyone loves to sit outside and enjoy a nice view and frosty beverage. I do not know if the town still owns the liquor license,you should inquire with the clerk. There are endless possibilities for The Lodge...being opened as a banquet facility, a tavern(if you can get the license back) , a restaurant, a cafe.......it just will take some elbow grease, repairs, and an enthusiastic owner! It is a shame that the town has not worked with any prospective buyer! Everyone living in the lake community and town hates seeing it sitting empty, falling into such disrepair.
It would be a welcome event to see it open again but you must know as with any business, it will take time to get on it's feet.
Pool ? no pool but the area that that person is talking about long ago the Beach bar ( lodge) was a rental center for row boats the dock area was swimming and beach area and what was though to be a pool was r out door roller skating ring , growing up at the lake was quite during winter but summer renters came in droves and it was party time on the week ends
You all have zero knowledge of running a restaurant. And simply put, the area is run down. Without liquor it isn’t even possible for someone to make a living.
Only chance is if someone that has plenty of money just wants a nice place on the lake that they can call theirs.
I sent a letter to the township with a idea
get all the townships in warren county a long with warren tech and the collage create a place for culinary education exposed to the real world from cooking to bisness managent
a place to show off what they have learned and people can come and eat
but not a word came back to me
I have been here at Mt Lake for 61 years and it pains me to see it this way god I am so old that I roller skated at the roller ring
liberty township save our past now and bring it in to the future
they should give it to the fire dept who can rent it out … You could have an amazing wedding there … and again as we know "Common Sense Is Not So Common" but the town will just let the building sit there unused...
Nonsense......you speak plenty of nonsense actually. If the casino and lodge did so great years ago why can't the lodge do well again?! Having dinner and drinks on a beautiful lake with some pretty amazing sunsets.....who wouldn't enjoy that....."Only chance" it survives my ass.....
Nonsense...there are plenty of places to eat were it is BYOB....The Lodge nor does other establishments have to have a liquor license to "make it" . There are wedding venues tht are BYOB as well. Yes, plenty of people would enjoy having a drink with their meal & having it served at the establishment makes it nice.
I am a long time resident of Liberty and it is such a shame that our town cannot come to terms with someone to open the Lodge. There are so many possibilites for it! The longer it sits empty, the more repair, the less likely to get someone even to lease the place! Come on Liberty...... we have fishermen, beach goers, kayakers, hikers, motorcycle clubs run thru our beautiful township .......it could be a nice cafe... I like the idea of votech running it for the culinary class to have real life courses! The lake was once a thriving summer community....with the internet..it could be thriving again if people knew about the hiking, boating, beach area
Fellow Liberty Residents.........speak up!!!
Why does Warren County have so few liquor licenses?
"Why does Warren County have so few liquor licenses?"
Because liquor licenses are distributed by town, according to population.
If the fire dept wants it I think it's a great idea. However, its not really big enough for decent size weddings like the Belvidere Manor so that will limit the type of events that could be held there.
Nosila- the fire company can make up other functions. Its not just necessarily for weddings.
And for people who just want a small wedding, I think it will be a great place and idea.
The simple fact is that the mayor doesn’t want to sell it. There has been several offers within his price and he keeps turning them down. When ever residents raise the issue at the monthly meeting they are immediately Shut down. What ever is going on we continue to loss taxable income. Open up another action and sell the place so residents can have a place to eat and enjoy this beautiful lake. Open it and people will come!
Lizzy you are 100% correct until the Liberty Township politics get straightened out the status of the Lodge will not change … Again give it to the firehouse … invest in the property and parking for small weddings and events.... for those who cant afford huge events which are very costly … but again "Common sense is not so common" we are the tax payers I say it is time for new leadership or at least a open and honest conversion with committee on truly why they wont give it to the fire department … this have been going on for years …
John insco needs to go. He has had a beef with the fire department for years. It’s always been about the mayor time for a change in Liberty Township
That is funny … "Facts" + "Forum" = "Not going to happen" again "Common sense is not so common" the Liberty Township politics are just as broken as Washington DC maybe even more so, since nothing changes year after year… Time for sweeping changes …
Liberty thinker I agree with you 100% change is needed starting with the mayor he needs to go!!!!
How about some good news out of Mt.Lake? The Lodge at Mt.Lake has finally been purchased.
I had the opportunity to speak with the new owners and I am excited for them and their plans. They are level headed, local people with a well thought out plan.
The venue will become a General Store/Wedding venue. The Mt.Lake area will be well served by a general store type business.
The other half of the venue will be a wedding reception facility. With Mt.Lake as a backdrop, it will offer something different than the other facilities that provide that service in the area currently.
The building will be undergoing some extensive renovations, so what you see right now, or are used to seeing, will be greatly improved in the coming months.
The business will retain The Lodge at Mt.Lake name, and they hope to have the General Store part of the business up and running in a few months.
Glad we finally have some positive movement on this property, and best of luck to the new owners!
I hope they are thinking.....hot chocolate in the Winter....Ice cream in the summer!!
Serving the community as well as the seasonal visitor.
Sandwiches, soup, etc would be great as well. I think "general stores" offer that type of fare along with the milk and bread.
And a good cup of coffee!!!!!!! Good luck to the owners
Interesting- especially if Nykuns (sp?) is still in business.
I’d have done a good brick oven pizza joint.
What did they end up paying for it?
Where did that liquor license go?
If they don't have it - they should save their money - won't work.
I hope they got it cheap...I would think it would be hard to sell enough on a regular basis given the population density and location.
General stores are usually not a destination attraction.
I grew up at Mt. Lake, I remember summers when the Beach Bar (now whatever) and the Casino (now slid into the lake) made Mt. Lake jumping every night. (Both owned by the Buckenmyers.) Hundreds of people on the Beach and hundreds of people renting fishing and pleasure rowboats every day. Teen dances with live bands every Friday night in the roller rink, and you could hear the bar customers singing along with Claire Fox and his organ every Sunday in the summer, no matter where you were at the Lake. The place was an all-summer party. In the winter it was peaceful and quiet, with a population of 500, vs over 2000 in the summer. The school bus went around the lake to White Township Elementary and Belvidere HS, each morning. An absolutely magical place to grow up in, in the 50's and 60's. I'm sad that it has become just another place.
JAY I remember going to the Casino and the "polka parties" we used to have.
What happened to Clair Fox? They used to live up Baldwin St. Knew his wife also.
You are bringing back memories I have not thought of in years.
Going to be a beautiful building and great addition to the lake community. Hopefully business will be good.
The remodeled building with large floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake is lovely. I rode by this evening and noticed an Open House, May 13th banner hanging in front.
Here is their menu: https://lodgeatmountainlake.com/general-store/
There are pictures of the event space on their website - it looks beautiful!
I hope they can capitalize on the nation's newest trend ----- outside eating at acceptable social distancing spacing!!!!
It's all the rage!
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