Owner’s Investment: Less than $10,000
Joey’s Lakeside Café in Spruce Grove Marina, Constantia brings back simplicity and allows the view to speak for itself.
Overlooking Oneida Lake, owner Joseph LaBeef thought the location would be perfect for his latest restaurant endeavor. LaBeef was the owner of two former restaurants in Florida and Cicero. He brings experience and personality to the Constantia area.
“The atmosphere and food set us apart. You’re welcome to come in and have coffee or you’re welcome to come in and eat. I don’t push anybody out of the way,” said LaBeef.
Joey’s Lakeside Café officially opened for business on March 1 after acquiring numerous permits and insurances. LaBeef said among other things, he needed workers’ compensation, disability insurance, unemployment insurance and liability insurance in order to open.
“Counting what I gave the previous owner, a few equipment upgrades and food, [I invested] probably around $8,000,” said LaBeef.
He hopes to make that money back within the first year of business and for the restaurant to continue to pay for itself.
LaBeef also wants to set a tone for the restaurant. He said in his first year, he hopes people will become acquainted with Joey’s Lakeside Café and take interest in his breakfast and lunch specials.
“Some of my stuff is a little different. It has a southern twist to it mixed with a little northern twist. It’s the same food but it has a little bit of a different taste. So far everybody has liked it. I haven’t had anyone throw food in my face yet, so we’re good,” LaBeef said.
Besides the food, LaBeef said there are “a million different things” that make a restaurant successful.
Personality and how the customers are treated are important, he said. Traffic and location make a big difference as well.
He will be a hands-on owner, running and managing the business himself alongside two employees. LaBeef said as an owner, he handles a lot of responsibility, but along with that comes the freedom to make his own judgment calls.
LaBeef said he broke into the restaurant industry due to his initial interest in cooking.
“I just liked cooking, so I started cooking for people at home and then I moved on to cooking for friends at barbecues. Then I got the opportunity to get into a big place in Florida when I was down there, and it just rolled from there. I started doing it my way, not like Burger King,” LaBeef said.
Joey’s Lakeside Café is a change from the seafood and barbecue restaurant LaBeef owned in Florida. On the menu are breakfast items such as eggs, omelets and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch, Joey’s offers hot and cold sandwiches, salads, wraps and fish. For eat-in or take-out, Joey’s Lakeside Café is open Wednesday through Sunday at 1197 state Route 49.
“It’s an easy-going, quiet place. There’s no loud music, no hollering, no rush. It’s laid-back good food,” said LaBeef.