BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
The owners of Smokies on the Water are ready to welcome back boaters, golfers and swimmers to the Water’s Edge clubhouse.
Business has been steady since October, but quiet enough for Scott McBeath and Tom Mercurio to assess their first year of operations and prepare to meet the desires and demands of the summertime crowds using the township’s golf course, pool and marina.
“People told us to expect a busy summer and quiet winter, and that’s exactly what happened,” said McBeath. “We have been able to use these past few months to look back and plan accordingly for the upcoming season.”
On a recent weeknight, a mixed crowd of patrons were enjoying a variety of menu items and members of the Downriver Actors Guild were putting the final touches on the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre they staged later that week.
“We offered it twice over the winter to sellout crowds,” said McBeath, who said they are trying different ideas to best serve the island community.
Looking ahead, the township’s summer concert series will return, and Smokies will extend the performances by sponsoring live entertainment through August.
Upgrades to the kitchen and bar areas will allow them to continue offering favorite Smokies’ dishes that range from the signature smoked salmon, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and salads (topped with made-from-scratch dressing). Homemade soups round out the offerings for all dietary requests.
McBeath said they also are looking at establishing a Sunday brunch and breakfast for early morning golfers.
The duo, who owns Smokies on Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte, was thinking of expanding their operations when township officials put out bids for leasing the clubhouse. The waterfront location on West River and Bellevue roads was ideal.
“We love the location and being part of the community and all the activities (at Water’s Edge).” McBeath said.
Admittedly, there were unexpected challenges last summer preparing an extensive menu in a kitchen previously used on a much smaller scale.
“Tom and I are hands-on operators, and believe our reputation precedes us,” said McBeath. “We confronted the challenges and are looking forward to a successful summer.”
The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. daily year-round. For information on menu and events, or to place a carry-out order, call (734) 672-6470.