ROUSES POINT - Many people are familiar with the well-established Mexican restaurant The Smoked Pepper, located in Plattsburgh. Now, the restaurant's owner and head chef, Mark Castro, is adding another restaurant to his menu.
In the former Ole Tymes Cafe location, Castro will open the Lake Street Cafe and Grill as well as the Lake Street Bakery, at 90-92 Lake St.
"Two separate entities with both working together," Castro explained of the businesses. "The bakery will supply products for that restaurant and also desserts for The Smoked Pepper."
The bakery will also feature artisan breads utilizing natural products from local mills.
As for the restaurant, the best way Castro could describe the food was "comfort food with a twist."
"It won't be abnormal when lobsters are in season to walk in and see lobster macaroni and cheese on the menu," he explained.
Castro said the restaurant will also have family-style dinners on Sundays.
"After church or after sports events with the kids, you can come in, sit down ... and we'll serve you dinner on platters just like you were at home," he said.
"It opens up another creative venue for us," Castro added. "And don't be surprised if you see us sneak a couple of Smoked Pepper items on the menu."
Castro said he will also offer take out and delivery, including "home meal replacement."
"Our idea is to be able to offer a dinner for four, take out," he said. "Soup or salad, entree, vegetable, starch for four people, for $25."
The idea of having a comfort food restaurant in Rouses Point was something Castro felt there was a demand for.
"We want to give something back to Rouses Point that was there before in Ole Tymes," he said. "They've always served comfort food there. The old railroaders used to eat their breakfast in there every morning. We don't want to change that."
"We want to take that, we want to add to it and put our spin on it while also keeping our feet firmly in tradition," added Castro.
Tradition will also be seen in the restaurant as Castro plans to utilize the old soda fountain, still fully-functional, for malts, floats and milkshakes.
Castro said he also has been a collector of Adirondack Life since its inception and plans to utilize articles and photos from them to decoupage the breakfast bar.
"You've got a hundred years of history right in front of you," he explained. "It should be really nice."
Castro plans to open the bakery Wednesday, Dec. 1, with the opening for the restaurant to follow sometime in the beginning of January, with both being open seven days a week.
Castro said the support from the village has also helped to get the businesses up and running.
"The village, they're behind us 150 percent. They've been incredibly supportive," he said. "They want to see every business that comes into Rouses Point expand and grow and they're willing to do whatever they have to to support that. From the mayor, right on down."