By: Megan Roche
A new restaurant is coming to the Mount Olive area that will offer the best of both seafood and tavern fare. It’s also got quite the view of Budd Lake. Projected to open in early December, Lakeside Tavern will be a new go to spot. It’s convenient location on Route 46 will offer easy access to Route 80, Route 206, and Route 24. The family friendly location will have some incredible sunsets and houses picture windows for all to enjoy.
Budd Lake has been a staple in the Mount Olive community for decades. Budd Lake is the largest natural lake in New Jersey at 374 acres. Formerly known as Hattacawanna Lake, the lake was named for Lt. John Budd who was the first military officer to train a home guard to protect the community against threats. Lt. Budd also owned 1300 acres of land in the area back in 1714. The lake has been home to many families throughout the years, but was an extremely popular summer vacation destination in the 1920’s. Hotels graced the area around the lake, with the most popular ones being the Greene Inn and the Budd Lake Hotel.
As time has passed, the lake has still been a source of recreation for many in the greater Mount Olive communities. The lake is also the source for the south branch of the Raritan River. Budd Lake has a depth of seven to 12 feet and was created by thousands of years of decaying plant material such as black spruce and tamarack. Budd Lake Beach is a great place to bring family and friends during the summer months.
For Lakeside Tavern and Restaurant Village Hospitality Group owners, Steve and Andrea Bussel, opening and operating a restaurant is no new game for them. The couple also own Long Valley Brew Pub, OMG Burger and Brew, and White Birch, with Chef Sam Freund. White Birch recently received a liquor license and will be operating a full bar.
“I was successful in the real estate business. I’ve always enjoyed seeing restaurant operations, they have always piqued my interest and as I became successful in the real estate business, I felt that I would try my hand at owning restaurants as well,” Bussel said.
Lakeside Tavern will take be located at the old High Noon location, directly across from the lake. There will be ample parking available. The laidback atmosphere will house a 15-20 seat bar and be family friendly and economical. The owners are also planning on adding a rooftop patio with a full bar. The food at Lakeside Tavern will be predominantly seafood, but also tavern food, such as burgers, wings, and pasta. Monthly specials and the entire menu are still being decided upon, but the end goal is to provide affordable seafood to the greater Mount Olive area. The anticipated opening date is around early December.
Lakeside Tavern is located at 331 Route 46, Budd Lake. Restaurant hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Lakeside Tavern will be closed on Tuesdays.