Imagine for a brief moment that you are transformed back in time to an era where fine dining was the norm and white linen tablecloths were as comfortable and as much as a staple as your favorite dishes at home.
In fact, this particular tone for dining still exists and can be found at Marina Grog & Galley Restaurant on Lake Lotawana.
Established in 1993 and locally-owned by Jack Schwindler, Marina Grog & Galley Restaurant prides itself on being the only fine dining experience on the largest, private lakefront in the Kansas City metro.
Located on the southeast corner of Kansas City, throughout Marina Grog & Galley’s landscape you will find yourself transformed into a nautical atmosphere but with Midwest-familiarity. Tucked away on a hillside, the restaurant offers scenic lake views whether you are dining indoor or outdoor, as it is particularly stunning at sunset.
Once inside the restaurant during the evening, you can expect an elegant ambiance with candlelight, as it was refreshing to step away for a few hours from the hustle & bustle of the city and enjoy a dinner without feeling rushed or have an uninterrupted conversation.
The man behind the menu at Marina Grog & Galley Restaurant is Lance McFarland. Chef Lance first became interested in cooking at Marina Grog & Galley Restaurant fourteen years ago where he worked as a line cook. He then worked his way up the culinary ladder to become the Sous Chef and today is the Executive Chef who takes the most pride in making guests happy.
“As a Chef, we have a new challenge every day. The saying goes ‘what you did yesterday doesn’t matter in the kitchen.’ We try to make each day just as great and memorable for each guest,” McFarland said.
For Chef Lance, the process of prepping begins at 10:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. every day. Although it’s a task with little room for breaks, Chef Lance adores his craft and comes to work ready for whatever his shift throws his way.
“I enjoy the unpredictability of my job and making people happy through food,” McFarland said.
Chef Lance adds that the future possibilities and ideas for Marina Grog & Galley Restaurant are endless and that he’s excited for the restaurant’s future.
Although Marina Grog & Galley Restaurant is welcoming to its future, Lake Lotawana itself is no stranger to its history. In 1934, Marina Grog & Galley formerly operated as a full service marina that sold and repaired boats. Today, Lake Lotawana is home to 1,250 residents with 27 miles of shoreline.
An event unique to Lake Lotawana that whispers into its past with pride, is the Lake Lotawana Rendevous Wood and Classic Boat Show made possible by The Wood and Classic Boat Club currently made up of 29 Lake Lotawana residents.
Last year, the event raised over $13,000 for the Lake Lotawana Parks & Rec and they hope to do even better this year with up to 8 guest runabouts from Missouri and surrounding states Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Members say they will have two 1930 Chris-Craft Boats, but their best member boat debut is an anticipated Italian Riva.
The 2nd Lake Lotawana Rendevous Wood and Classic Boat Show, that is open to the public, will take place September 29 at The Marina Grog & Galley docks from 11 a.m.-4 p.m with a day full of boating for members and sponsors.
Marina Grog & Galley is located at 22 A St, Lake Lotawana, MO 64086.
Words: Ellen Leinwetter | Photos: Ellen Leinwetter & Jamie Jones Photography