WILLSBORO — The former Bay View Inn Pub is now McGraw’s Restaurant and Bar, with Nia Nicola and Brian Spiegel as proprietors.
No newcomers to the dining scene, the pair have been in the restaurant business for a combined half century.
“This has been a very popular watering hole and dining spot since about 1968,” Nicola gave as one of the motivational factors for leasing the establishment, which had been closed for several years.
The adjoining motel, which added seven rooms in the early 1970s, is managed by a separate entity.
For the most part, Spiegel employs his culinary talents, while Nicola has expertise in concocting libations.
“I make a wicked martini," she said. "This is a nice situation for us.”
Nicola has been associated with restaurants in Lake Placid and Plattsburgh. The name “McGraw’s” is intended as tribute to a construction company run by Spiegel's father.
“Take a look out of our dining-room window,” he invited, pointing out one of the best draws to the enterprise, Willsboro Bay on Lake Champlain. In addition, guests can enjoy the ambiance of an alfresco experience on the patio, taking in the panorama of the bay stretching before them.
“Our clients are a mixture of local and boat people who come from Vermont and Canada," Spiegel said. "There are not many places on the lake where you can dock and have lunch. We have got off to a good start and have been having a good time here. We have been meeting new and wonderful people daily."
MADE FROM SCRATCH
The menu is basic American fare, including fresh fish and lobster.
"We try to keep our menu items under $20," he said. "(And) everything is made from scratch. We buy whatever we can locally from places such as Pray's Market and the Village Meat Market in Willsboro.”
Nicola said the experience has been exciting.
"We’ve been loving it."
The restaurant offers live entertainment on Friday or Saturday nights, or both.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, McGraw’s is located at 361 Farrell Road on Willsboro Bay. Call 963-4177 for additional information.
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