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An island classic gets new life

Melissa Topey • Aug 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM



Small. Intimate. Experience the romantic side of life at Island House Restaurant on Kelleys Island.

Bret Maiers and his wife Lynn are back operating the Island House, opening it up for the season in May. The two expect to soon have completed and signed off the paper work to formally co-own the restaurant.

“Our goal is to make sure people enjoy it enough, get great service, to tell their friends. We build our reputation that way,” Bret Maiers said.

They have a history at the old building.

The couple came to the island in 2000 and operated the restaurant for four seasons.

Bret and Lynn left the Island House for a few years, then opened up the Caddy Shack eight years ago, which they still own.

The Caddy Shack is the fun side of the couple, a nice complement to Island House, their first foray into fine dining, Maiers said.

When the former owners decided to sell the restaurant, the Maiers returned. They started remodeling the restaurant in March.

This season the restaurant still offers two rooms for visitors to rent.

The main dining room features dark walls and wooden floors with seating for 40 customers.

Grant Grayson, a Kelleys Island graduate, is the head chef, overseeing the operation of the kitchen.

There is a new menu, offering something for everyone.

Popular menu items include the bison burger, veal short ribs as well as the four onion soup.

“There is a completely different dynamic than the year before,” Grayson said.

The former Island House menu was eclectic menu but remained the same for the entire season.

The new menu is characterized as simplified fine dining. still fine dining style, just simplified.  the restaurant is known for but now it is simplified.

Myers and Grayson also change up the menu to use quality local seasonal ingredients.

Myers remodeled the outside bar, which seats around 100 people, with beautiful tile in aqua and blue colors and expanded the number of taps from three to six.

The inside bar has an expanded wine rack and revamped cocktail menu.

All to meet the needs of customers.

“There is a seasonal aspect here. You know you are going to be busy these summer months. There is a specific clientele that you know you will be serving, the tourists,” Grayson said.

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