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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, December 22, 2012

#1860 - Lake Grill at Shore Lodge, McCall, ID - 8/22/2011

I don't know how old the "Lake Grill" name is, but this has been the bar area of the log cabin style Shore Lodge since 1949. The lodge itself opened in 1948, on the side of the Payette River once called "Lardo," and on the grounds of the old Shellworth campground, where campers once included Bannock Indians on their annual summer migration to White Bird to fish for salmon. Just eleven years later my parents spent their honeymoon at the lodge, so it was nice to return with them for an anniversary dinner, just a few days after this particular visit to meet an old high school friend who happened to be in the area.

The Shore Lodge is a sort of keystone of the Idaho recreational town of McCall.  It has been restored to its original name and reopened to locals and all visitors after two decades in the hands of a Montgomery Burns sort of ownership. Originally designed to be unpretentious, in 1989 it was acquired by a San Diego real-estate developer in a hostile take-over, and in 1999 was closed for two years for extensive remodeling.  When it was reopened, it was as a private club for high-end clientele, with rooms starting at $385 a night, and renamed "Whitetail Lodge."

Happily, a grandson of local grocery magnate Joe Albertson eventually got control of the lodge, and reverted it back from a plutocrat's private club to the sort of open, nice but affordable community destination that he remembered as a boy: "My grandparents and parents built a cabin in McCall in 1957, 58. Growing up, spending time in McCall with my family, are the best memories I have. Taking our boats to Shore Lodge for Saturday night BBQ on the patio, having the chef prepare a large Mackinaw trout that my grandfather caught in the lake ..." (justluxe)  They even restored the old sign.

The Lake Grill includes a patio looking out across the Payette Lake. It is not a great bar, in terms of either character or quality of cocktails, but it is quite a good destination for a nice dinner, particularly on a warm evening in central Idaho.

501 West Lake Street McCall, ID 83638 - (800) 657-6464
Est. July 3, 1948 (lodge), May 1, 1949 (current bar area),

Web site: - facebook  
Reviews: link - tripadvisor - justluxe (nice lodge photos) - McCall's Historic Shore Lodge

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