Lakeside hangouts: Lake Elsie’s Wakeside Bar & Grill ‘a hidden gem’ less than an hour's drive from FargoHANKINSON, N.D. – Wakeside Bar & Grill on the shore of Lake Elsie seems an improbable haven given the neighborhood it inhabits.
By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM
HANKINSON, N.D. – Wakeside Bar & Grill on the shore of Lake Elsie seems an improbable haven given the neighborhood it inhabits.
The lake it overlooks is surrounded by farm fields in Richland County, less than an hour’s drive from Fargo, in country that looks more suited to agrarian than riparian pursuits.
But the lake, much of its shoreline dotted by homes, is a favorite place for water recreation among communities in southeastern North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota.
And that’s what drew the Geffrey family, formerly of Fargo, to resurrect a supper club and make it a smoke-free bar and grill.
“My dad loves to cook,” said Eric Geffrey, who manned the bar on a recent Saturday night.
“It just kind of went from there.”
The former LakeView Supper Club, which changed hands during the winter, now has a menu that offers something for every taste: appetizers, burgers, steaks and seafood, as well as homemade pizza.
Two generations of Geffreys operate Wakeside Bar & Grill: Parents Tammy and Fritz are joined by their adult sons, Eric and Markus, who does much of the cooking.
Soups and sauces are among the specialties, and Markus cuts all the meat and presses the patties.
Many diners opt for a patio table in good weather, with a view from the southeast shore of Lake Elsie, not far from a lakeside veterans memorial site.
“What a hidden gem this is,” said Jeanie Benson, who made the 40-mile drive from Browns Valley, Minn., with her husband, Steve, to have dinner.
“Nice people and a nice location,” Steven Benson said, as he was waiting for his order of ribs to be delivered.
At the next table, two couples were relaxing following a meal.
Merlyn and Marlene Miller of Breckenridge, Minn., are regulars, joined by Pil Bjerkager and Pat Heibel, friends from Fargo.
“We come here every week,” Marlene Miller said. “The food is delicious.”
Her favorite is the steak tips, but she also is fond of the soups and the relaxing atmosphere.
The Geffreys have done some remodeling, including the dining area, and plan to continue adding touches over time.
“It’s a work in progress,” Eric Geffrey said.
If you go
What: Wakeside Bar & Grill
Where: 16621 94½ St. S.E., Hankinson, N.D.
Summer hours: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Contact: (701) 242-7248
Previously featured Lakeside Hangouts
Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522