New restaurant, gas station, store proposed for Crooked Lake

Local News

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — More development could be coming to Crooked Lake in Steuben County.

The proposed eatery, tavern, gas station, and convenience store would be housed in a building complex called Anchor Down. Once opened, Anchor Down would be located on Lane 101 Crooked Lake in a section of the parking lot near the public beach in the Steuben County Park.

“We are hoping to have an area that the community, not just the lake-goers or weekend boaters can come to,” co-founder of Anchor Down Kevin Summers said. “With the sale of Captain Cabin, which was the only restaurant on the lake, and now with Casey’s Cove leaving, which was the only gas access, we saw a need.”

Summers says the group looking to build Anchor Down would lease a corner of the parking lot from the county. The building itself would be about 50 feet by 38 feet. Once leased, Summers would pay for construction costs and when it’s finished, Summers and his wife would run all four businesses for the next 20 years. Once the 20-year lease is up, the buildings would go back to the county and the county can then offer a new lease to a new tenant.

Back in April 2021, Summers started the process with the Steuben County commissioners. Over the months there have been several public forums and Summers was approved for the necessary setbacks and building restrictions. The project can’t begin until final approval comes from commissioners which could come as soon as Jan. 2022.

“We need something like this on the lake,” Summers said. “We aren’t taking up the entire parking lot and we will be adding more parking to the east. We hope to have a dock area and an area for acoustic music and maybe a fire pit.”

Anchor Down is not the only project in the works at Crooked Lake. In early November the Steuben County Board of Zoning and Appeals voted in favor of a proposed project that would turn the former Casey’s Cove Marina into condos. Dozens of residents showed up to that meeting and opposed the condo project.

Summers says he tried to work with the Casey’s Cove developers, however, in the end, the developers were set on building condos and not renting out commercial space. Summers also told WANE 15 that all the feedback on the development has been positive.

“Without a gas station on the lake, most boaters will have to carry gas and right now there’s not a place to park your boat, sit down and eat,” Summers said. “We want to change that. It’s a place where families can come and eat and a tavern that’s not going to be open real late at night. This is all about the community.”

WANE 15 reached out to commissioners to get a statement on the project and have not heard back.

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