Days are getting longer and last weekend, Lake Country enjoyed the first full day of sun in the new year. If allowed, we are looking to explore many new ventures in 2021.


Oakwood Resort:

• The annual Polar Plunge fundraiser for the Turkey Creek Township Fire Department drew hundreds last year but has been canceled. Bummer! That event rocks!

• Executive Chef Simroy Campbell is planning a special Valentine’s Day dinner menu and bringing back popular Easter and Mother’s Day brunches.

• The summer menu will be introduced in May.

• Hopefully, the Woodie Boat Show will be on again in June.

• Chautauqua Wawasee plans their annual Fine Arts Festival on June 12. The annual “Old -fashioned Christmas” is also scheduled for late November.

It’s unknown whether the Purdue Varsity Glee Club’s annual concert and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Patriotic Pops concert will happen.

Other Happenings — maybe:

• The Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce Winter Carnival is scheduled for Feb. 13. The one-day affair will have multiple events throughout Syracuse.

• Hopefully, Huntington Street Bar and Grill will again host its annual bagpipe party on St. Patrick’s Day.

• The Owl’s Nest’s will host brunches for Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day.

• The Sleepy Owl’s $1 taco’s on Mondays and Wednesday’s half-price pizza remain popular.

• Danny’s Pizza and Sport Bar placed second in the county for best pizza. Their Chicago-style pies are top-shelf!

• Man Cave Brewery plans to host its annual Wawabrewskie charity event for local Kiwanis Clubs.

• The weekly “Thunder Run” each Sunday on Lake Wawasee will start Memorial Day weekend. Last year, several new “woodies” joined the tour around the lake. The largest parade had 41 boats.

• The Frog Tavern is offering all-you-can-eat boneless wings each Thursday. The SS Lillypad will start lake tours early in the spring.

• Chubbies Pub & Grub continues its $4 giant pork tenderloins (Grilled is the best!) on Tuesdays and $3 build-your-own burger on Thursdays. They recently started all-you-can-eat frog legs on Wednesday nights. Each Sunday, you can build-your-own bloody Mary starting at 10:30 a.m.

• Tippy Creek Winery offers a food truck on Saturdays.

NEW IN 2021

• As reported earlier, Kelly Jae’s Lakeside is planning a Memorial Day weekend grand opening but may do an invitation-only event in February.

• A year ago, Kosciusko County approved an alcohol permit for Café Liefde (Dutch for love) at 105 W. Main St., Syracuse, but there’s no date yet for an opening.

• Tippy Creek Winery added a comedy night once a month.

• Louie’s Bar and Grill has scheduled entertainment for the warmer months on its outside patio.

• The expanded space at West on Warren in Middlebury.

In Elkhart, the Midwest Museum of American Art is exhibiting “A Holocaust Remembrance” collection. Several works by Adam (Grochowski) Grant, a holocaust survivor and the creator of paint by numbers, are on display. In addition, there’s a spotlight exhibit of Gabor Peterdi’s never-before-seen works from that period.

Also on display are many WWII military memorabilia. Several of these items were shipped to our parents in 1945 by my brother just weeks before he was killed. I never knew him, but wrote a book based on his letters about his journey through Europe with Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. “In Search of a Soldier, the Unknown Brother” is available at the museum.


• A return to The Captain’s Cabin on Crooked Lake is a must.

• The Edwin Coe Distillery near Churubusco is on the list.

• The 8Eleven Bistro in Purdue’s renovated Union Club requires another visit.

• There are numerous obscure butcheries, food stores and bakeries out there to be visited.

• State park lodges are spectacular venues. We’ll check-out a couple.

• If Joseph Decuis in Roanoke restarts “Burgers (Wagyu, of course), Beer and Blue Jeans” this summer, we are in!

• Fairmount won’t have the James Dean Festival this year, but another visit to Grains & Grill is necessary.

• Have to go back to Kristy’s Hometown Bar and Grill in Akron and watch her make those best-ever onion rings.

• Coming in April is the newly renovated Hotel Elkhart — a highly anticipated and much needed venue in downtown Elkhart. Besides the museum, there will be another reason to head north.

• The Copper Spoon in Fort Wayne is high on the list.

2021 could be an exciting year for Lake Country. Certainly, more delightful destinations with luscious locations await.

Loren Shaum is an automation engineering consultant, retired pilot, author, home gardener and sometimes chef. He and Gayle reside in Syracuse. He can be contacted at

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