The Cove at Lake Anna
The Cove at Lake Anna has come into its fifth season in 2020. We remember the first year with all of the challenges, remodeling, staff, heartbreak, and excitement of what was to come.
The challenges started with numerous factors. First and foremost was the fact that the owner, Suzie Squiers, had never run or owned a restaurant before. Suzie had spent the last 20 years in broadband integration; the new career was a jump into the unknown.
First, the building itself needed some TLC. They started day one on January 1, 2016, with scraping up the floors in the store and pulling out anything not attached to the ground to get ready for the remodel. They finished the store and opened February 12, Suzie’s son’s birthday, and hit the ground running. They continued the remodel in the restaurant, which took close to four months. During that time, they hired new staff and continued to learn and grow. The restaurant opened on May 13, 2016.
The staff they hired the first year was in for a rough season. Everything was very new, and some of the staff had never even worked in a restaurant before! Needless to say, things were a bit hectic. Suzie takes pride in the fact that her staff has been a part of The Cove family for all five seasons. She acknowledged that without Jen B., Angela S., Liz H., Jake J., Mike P., Crystal D., Charles M., Nicole A. and BB S., the restaurant would have been a failure.
Their first season was also filled with a tremendous amount of heartbreak when their general manager and friend, Matt Mandeville, passed away in a car accident the weekend of their opening. Matt had such a tremendous part in getting everything ready for their opening. He would stay late during remodeling helping my husband and I paint, construct, clean, etc.
Matt helped complete the menu and just about everything they needed to open for their busy season. Matt’s hat hangs in their kitchen to remind them everyday that he is looking over them. Suzie keeps the pack of pencils Matt gave her to remind Suzie of him and his jokes. Suzie keeps in touch with Matt’s sister Yvonne. She always lets Yvonne know how much Matt is in their hearts and always will be.
The struggles and challenges have helped the staff grow into an amazing work family, restaurant, and establishment for all their local and out-of-town guests. They have enjoyed being able to be a part of local charities and foundations like The Belmont Foundation and their own Annual Car/Boat Show held every year in memory of their dear friend Chuck Bowen.
It is an amazing feeling to be able to give back to local families, students, foundations, and our community. The Cove looks forward to their 2020 season and many more to come. They would like to thank their customers, community, and friends who have been so kind to the staff and so supportive to them these past five seasons.