Whiteco brings a splash of elegance to Cedar LakeNestled on the shores of cozy Cedar Lake, the Lighthouse Restaurant welcomes residents, visitors, and boaters with its beacon of great food, fun, and friends. Surrounded by windows, diners enjoy the scenery of the woods and the water while savoring cuisine that is found no where else in the region. The Lighthouse Restaurant, slated to open on April 6, 2009, features two floors for a combined total of 11,600 square feet. The first floor is a full-service restaurant with seating for up to 200...
The Lighthouse: Making Cedar Lake a destination
Beginning late afternoon on any given day, a procession of vehicles begins to form on its way to Constitution Avenue in Cedar Lake where the Lighthouse Restaurant, nestled snugly against the shoreline of the town's namesake lake, has been luring people from near and far to its doors. Wrapped in windows overlooking an always splendid, and sometimes breathtaking view, The Lighthouse has been drawing customers from as far away as Lafayette, South Bend, nearby Illinois and Michigan since opening April 6. Its popularity shining a light on the town's resurgence as a resort community. Cedar Lake has become a destination again - thanks in large part to the restaurant and banquet hall. In the earlier decades of the 1900s, visitors flocked to the summertime pleasures of Cedar Lake, including the Midway Ballroom which played host to the big music names of the day such as the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown and Glen Miller and, later, big-name rock and rollers. Chuckling at his desk, Bill Wellman admits to fond memories of good times spent at the old lakeside ballroom, but adds slyly that none are for print. The vice-president of communications for Whiteco Industries and part owner of the restaurant, Wellman recently celebrated his 85th birthday in The Lighthouse's second floor banquet space that serves up to 200 people. The view, he said, is spectacular. "There's a sign out front on the patio that I had made --- 'Please hold your applause until the sun sets.' It's starting to become a tradition," he said. Whiteco's CEO Dean White, principal owner, gave birth to plans for the restaurant that features an expansive patio along the lake. He, too, recalls the days when Cedar Lake was bustling and said it's where he went for fun, especially during the summertime. "It was Mr. White's plan to give back to the community. He hadn't planned it as a moneymaker. He just wanted to have some fun," Wellman said. "Eighteen days in front of our opening, Mr. White said, 'We are going to have sizzle on those steaks, aren't we?' We had to hustle to get that done," Wellman said, noting that each steak is delivered sizzling to the table thanks to an extended hood and a high temperature broiler. Everyone, including White, seems to be having fun as the Lighthouse, the Sunset Harbor Condominiums and The Moorings planned housing development on the lakeshore south of the restaurant continue to change the lake's landscape and beckon new visitors to the town's boundaries. Sunset Harbor and The Moorings are projects of WPM Construction, Merrillville, of which White is a principal. Beside a restaurant that many say is on a par with Chicago's best eateries, The Lighthouse has brought added jobs and tax support to the town, Wellman is quick to note. What do residents think? When Pat King Casassa returned to Cedar Lake five years ago after a 30-year absence, she was struck by the town's vitality. "It's coming back alive," she said, pointing to the Lighthouse, the condos, newly-paved streets and lake improvements. "I was just teased today about Cedartucky," Casassa, daughter of town founder Dr. Robert King, said of the unflattering name tag given by some to the town in the past, adding, "It's not Cedartucky anymore. We've come a long way." "Happy George," aka George Geimer-Wessler of Happy George's Coffeehouse, 13134 Lakeshore Drive, agrees, saying the town is on the upswing, and he's along for the ride. The sign at his storefront reads, "Welcome to Paradise." "We opened about 10 weeks ago. It seems like everything is picking up here, and the town is caring for the community more," Geimer-Wessler said. "We definitely get a lot of walk-ins. We plan to stay open all year." "Happy George's" benefits from the Sunset Harbor Condominiums that hug the shoreline south of the coffeehouse, he said. The development, including new business along 133rd Street, is feeding a growing economy and drawing visitors to the lake that is Indiana's second largest natural lake. The restaurant's banquet facilities, host to this year's Cedar Lake Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, is providing a modern facility for wedding receptions, anniversary parties and the like. With only three of the 62 Sunset Harbor units yet unsold, Peter Ruffing of WPM said such success in less than three years speaks well not only of the high quality, lakefront living possible there, but also of the community itself. "It's fun to be a part of it all," Ruffing said, pointing to the town's "Symphony in the Park," art shows and physical improvements undertaken by local business owners. A notable improvement is the east entry into the town on 133rd Avenue, which ends at Morse Street, Sunset Harbor and the lake. The pretty pastels of the condo buildings jut upward against the backdrop of the lake in a pleasing view created by the principals of WPM whose land plan moved the condo buildings apart to allow a view through to the water. The east entry was made even more alluring after the town's project at the intersection beautified the space with new paving, bricks, special lighting and planters, all part of a plan orchestrated by the town council. "I think this is just the leading edge," Ruffing, an Indianapolis transplant, said, adding, "Over the next four years, there will be 99 more condos. It makes sense that commercial will follow." And should the South Shore rail extension reach Cedar Lake, the resort community of the past - much like Lake Geneva, Wis. - may be seen again as The Lighthouse becomes even more of a destination. Want to learn more about The Lighthouse with lovely photos, its menu and the banquet facilities, go online to cedarlakelighthouse.com. Next, stop online at cedarlakein.org for the community's intriguing history, its plans for the future, and more. And if the allure of lake life is beckoning, go to themooringsoncedarlake.com to learn about the newest, east side development where condos, attached villas with walk-out basements are planned.
Just Three Waterfront Condos Remain
Nestled on a private beach with lake access, Sunset Harbor in Cedar Lake recently announced that there are just five remaining new construction condominium homes in this hugely successful development that has seen 57 sales in less than three years. "Considering the economy and state of home building in general, the fact that we're now down to our last five homes is hard to believe," Peter Ruffing, director of residential sales and marketing for the Merrillville-based developer says. "But what's truly amazing is how many people have a connection to Cedar Lake. We've met so many people from all over the local area who enjoy sharing their own personal historic links to Cedar Lake. They are all so pleased to see the community reawakening itself to the resort area it once was." Historically, Cedar Lake, which is near the junction of US Routes 41 and 231, just west of I-65 and south of I-94, has been referred to as the "Garden Spot of Lake County." The town's namesake 805-acre spring fed lake features more than 7 miles of shoreline and is an unparalleled Northwest Indiana paradise for recreational pursuits, including boating, water skiing and swimming. The condominiums at Sunset Harbor were developed to compliment what Mother Nature has provided Cedar Lake. Located on the east side of Cedar Lake at the corner of 133rd and Morse, Sunset Harbor is adorned with bright, complimentary colors and nautical enhancements. This appealing resort-style development of elegant lakefront condominium homes caters to the lifestyles of both weekend and permanent residents. "I would have to say that we are very close to an even split between full-time residents and those who enjoy their home on a seasonal or weekend getaway basis," Ruffing says. "Either way, our residents relish the opportunity to live lakeside. The views are amazing, especially in the evenings when you can watch the sun set over the lake from your very own private balcony." Featuring a lushly landscaped gated entrance for added security, Sunset Harbor offers residents an incredible amount of privacy to enjoy the sweeping lakefront views at all times of the day and night. The development also features a number of highly-desirable amenities for residents and their guests to enjoy, including a personal boat slip for easy lake access, an inviting sandy beachfront for lounging, heated lakeside pool with picturesque waterfall to keep cool when your not on the lake, and a fitness center for challenging workouts right at home. "Sunset Harbor is conveniently located in Northwest Indiana and just 45 minutes from Chicago's Loop," Ruffing says. "I can say with confidence that you won't find a better value anywhere in Northwest Indiana or Chicagoland." Right now, you'll find just five opportunities remaining to start enjoying all the benefits of Sunset Harbor and summer on the lake. From $299,900 all of the available condominiums are located on the second floor, some in 2-story buildings and some in 3-story buildings. Three are complete and ready to move in, while the other two offer buyers the chance to personally select their finishes. Either way, all five of the available condominium homes include just under 1,900 square feet of living space, three bedrooms and two full baths with balconies and strategically designed floor plans featuring volume ceilings and panoramic lake views from the living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms. Loaded with standard amenities commonly considered upgrades with other builders, all of the Sunset Harbor condominiums include elegantly appointed master baths, granite countertops, ceramic tile and maple cabinetry in the kitchens and bathrooms, remote-control operated gas fireplaces, walk-in closets in the master bedrooms, plenty of convenient storage plus a one-car attached garages with optional detached garages available. Along with Sunset Harbor, you'll find another new enhancement to the natural beauty of Cedar Lake. The newly opened Lighthouse Restaurant, which is just a few minute drive or boat ride away at 7501 Constitution Ave., is already a routine destination for neighborhood residents, visitors and boaters alike. Chef Ken McRae brings more than 25 years of culinary experience to the Lighthouse Restaurant. The menu features signature steaks, fresh seafood and pasta. Boaters especially appreciate the variety of homemade soups, fresh salads, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and Philly steak sandwiches. For More Info For more information on how you can start enjoying luxurious lakefront living at Sunset Harbor, contact Peter Ruffing at (219) 757-3700 or visit www.cedarlakeliving.net for more information. Onsite models located at 13206 Lake Shore Dr. and completely furnished by Pottery Barn are open Wednesday thru Sunday from 11am-5pm.
» Read More