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Crystal Beach Restaurant is worth the drive

If you’re heading east for a ride on a Sunday, why not make Crystal Beach Restaurant your choice for lunch or dinner? When I think of drives in the country, I always try to plan where we can stop for lunch or dinner.
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If you’re heading east for a ride on a Sunday, why not make Crystal Beach Restaurant your choice for lunch or dinner?

When I think of drives in the country, I always try to plan where we can stop for lunch or dinner. When traveling east, one place comes to mind is Crystal Beach Restaurant. This restaurant has been a part of the community since the early ‘50s.

The restaurant has seen many owners over the years, but some things have not changed-- awesome people and good comfort food.

In the late ‘50s, Crystal Beach Restaurant was built by the Carlson family, and it operated as a restaurant, gas bar and grocery store until 1966 when they sold the business to the Milenko family.

The Milenko family ran the business until 1976, when they sold it to the Kompon family.  The Kompon family ran it until 1983, then sold it to the Parkers, who ran the store and restaurant until 1988.

The Parkers, after five years, sold to Bruce Bowie and his family who eventually sold it in 1998 to the D'Angelo's, who remain the current owners.

Despite ownership changes, one thing has never changed-- community support for this charming little place. It started out as the Crystal Beach Restaurant, then when the Parker's took over in 1983 they changed the name to the Missing Horse Restaurant because of an old horseless carriage sitting on the roof of the restaurant. 

A few years back, Highway 17 was expanded into four lanes, and Crystal Beach was no longer on that stretch of highway.

The old potion of Highway 17 was changed into an extension of Lakeshore Drive, which meant that most tourists would no longer have direct highway access to the restaurant.  To compensate the Ministry put up signage.

The restaurant is leased out to the Maclean family. Mike and his mother Sandy have been long-time restaurant people. Sandy was the cook at the Pass Lake truck stop back in the 80's and has more than 40 years of cooking experience.

Mike has owned and operated a few other places over the years, the latest being Cousins restaurant at the Dawson Road Truck stop. It was great to hear that Mike and Sandy have returned to the Shuniah area and have taken over the restaurant at Crystal Beach. Not only are you guaranteed top notch service, but you will be sure to enjoy their large portions of homemade food. Sandy makes the pies and other desserts, while Mike makes the homemade meatballs and burgers.

Crystal Beach Restaurant offers you the simple basics, whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Residents talk about how good the liver and onions are, with huge portions at a great value.

I personally enjoy their homemade burgers with onion rings, but check out their hot beef or hot turkey sandwiches made with real beef and turkey--no processed meat here--and their delicious homemade gravy!  Every Friday night they offer their in house battered fish and chips, and every Wednesday night during the week is their all you can eat spaghetti night. 

The Crystal Beach restaurant is located on Lakeshore Drive, formerly Highway 17 East, and is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 pm.

Learn more about Thunder Bay dining visit the Thunder Bay Dining Facebook page. For more on the Dining Lady,checkout this website.

 



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