|Located on the water front in Bemus Point, the destination is a great place to enjoy a delicious made to order meal. (Star File Photo)|
BEMUS POINT, N.Y. -- Ye Hare 'n Hounds Inn family restaurant in Bemus Point has successfully preserved the tradition of good food with family and friends for the last 25 years.
The restaurant started out as a summer home for the Emery family in 1915. They designed it as a replica of an old English Inn. A lot of the original crafting materials like wood and brick were imported from England. To this day the restaurant remains in its original state. Except that there was a side dining room added in the ‘80s as a banquet hall for private parties.
In the early ‘20s the home was sold as a tea-room. They were popular during the prohibition and when the steamers used to be on the lake. The story goes that it was lost in a card game. But, that remains to be verified.
Back then there were three stories to the building. The upper two floors were used as lodging. There was also a frame building with rooms where the parking lot is now. It stopped being an inn in the mid '60s.
|The bar features a full selection of wine, beer and liquor as well as a large selection of Martinis and specialty mixed drinks. (Star File Photo)|
Ye Hare 'n Hounds has been an established restaurant in Chautauqua County since 1921. Jennifer Garrett, the current owner and her husband Mike took over in 1988. Even though it is no longer an inn, the tradition of providing guests with great food in a warm atmosphere remains in tact. “Both the name and the feel stuck with us for the last 25 years,” said Garrett.
Garrett herself actually worked at the Ye Hare 'n Hounds in her youth. It was her first job in her teens. “I had no idea then that I'd own it someday,” she said. “I was a registered nurse when we decided to buy. We couldn't have done it without the help of Mike's parents George and Joy Garrett.”
The dining experience is incredibly important to Garrett and her staff. Everything is all made to order and “We do take pride in our work,” she said. “We try not to use anything premade or pre-bought or ready made. Plus, all of our desserts are actually home made by me.”
|A fireplace to keep customers warm during the cold winter. (Star File Photo)|
According to Garrett the food is different and unique. “No one else has a menu like ours. Everything is unique in its own way,” said Garrett. The Seafood Julienne has been on the menu since Garrett worked there in the mid ‘70s. It is a casserole dish that features shrimp, scallops and lobster broiled together with mushrooms and a crumb base in herb butter. “It's been tweaked here and there but it's been on the menu for about 40 years.” she said.
Many of the employees have been working with Garret for many years. For the last 28 years Judy Biancho has been a friend and part of the family at Ye Hare 'n Hounds. “The seafood julienne is the only thing that's been here longer than me,” she said. “It's great that we're a family here.”
The seafood menu has received much praise from the community. One example is the Scallops Calvados, an almond crusted sea scallops served in a roasted acorn squash with a spiced apple brandy cream sauce with wild rice. The filet mignon dishes as well as the duck and lamb chops are also very popular. “It's difficult to find those type of dishes around here,” said Garret.
If the menu wasn't massive enough already with appetizers, soups, poultry, beef, seafood, lamb, veal and pork a new Bar Bites menu was also added. The new menu is served daily until 10 p.m. at the bar and features delicious made to order comfort foods. From soups and salads to flatbreads, appetizers and comfort foods; there is something for everyone.
While enjoying one of the many mouth watering menu items customers can enjoy a calm and comforting atmosphere. Great for business or pleasure, Ye Hare 'n Hounds is a great place to stop on the lake. “We want people to feel like they are coming home,” said Garrett.
|Death by Chocolate: 3-layer chocolate torte with a brownie base, fudge truffle middle and topped with a creamy chocolate mousse. (Star File Photo)|
At Ye Hare 'n Hounds there aren't any events or live entertainment to distract customers from the food experience. Every customer is treated like they are coming to dinner at a friend's or family's house. Eating is an experience individualized to each customer's preference.
No matter the season or weather it is always a great time to stop in. “During the winter we light the fire place and you're warm and cozy enjoying a great meal while the snow is falling outside,” said Garrett.
The Garrett family has worked hard to create a place where both the community and weary travelers can stop by and feel nostalgic for home. The food is made with patience by those who care and take pride in their work. This experience is partly due to the fact that the owners are locals who want to see the place they call home to prosper.
“We're not just here for the summer tourists,” said Garrett. “We're here for the local people. We're here because it is our livelihood and we want to be here. This has been our home for the last 25 years and we want everyone who comes here to feel welcome.”
Open year round, Ye Hare 'n Hounds Inn is located at 64 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point. The kitchen is open for dinners from 5 until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.