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Bass Lake Pub & Ristorante Celebrates a Decade In Business

Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

When Chester Smithers, co-owner of Knox-based Bass Lake Pub & Ristorante on South County Road 210, enters his establishment, he knows he’s going to get a warm reception from his friends.

“We are celebrating our tenth anniversary,” Smithers says. “We opened in January 2010 and we have enjoyed every minute. We have met so many nice people over the years, and they have really been supportive to our success. We wouldn’t be here, still going strong, if it weren’t for the great regulars we have. They keep coming back, and they keep me smiling.”

Smithers and his co-owner, Bill Cervone, bought the business from a previous owner, and set out to make the establishment as welcoming as possible.

“Our big thing is delicious food in a casual atmosphere,” Smithers says. “We want you to come in, sit down, relax and have an excellent meal. There is not a lot of big history to the place, just great food, affordable prices and a lot of great service. We have a great, friendly staff.”

Smithers, 71, knows a thing or two about running a successful business. He also owns Mister Joe’s Inc., a highly popular pub in Hammond, Indiana.

“I’ve learned that you really have to take care of the customer, and get them to come back and have a good time again,” Smithers says. “I’ve owned Mister Joe’s for 34 years and it made me want to open another place, which is how I got Bass Lake Pub & Ristorante going.”

Smithers, who is is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, previously worked for LTV Steel in East Chicago, Indiana.

“I started working there when I was 18 years old, and worked there for 30 years,” Smithers says.

Smithers says Bass Lake Pub & Ristorante is known for its wide variety of menu options.

“Our most popular meals are the fish specials,” he says. “Our lake perch, which is eight pieces of hand-breaded fillets served with lemon wedges and tartar sauce, is really big here. Our white fish dinner and fried shrimp are also big hits. Out of all the menu items we have, our fish is my favorite. I love it.”

Smithers adds that their steaks and rib eyes are also highly popular.

“We also have a lot of Italian specialties, which is what we get a lot of good reviews on,” Smithers says. “Our chicken parmesan, and our pizzas and raviolis, are just absolutely delicious. We have a lot of people come back for those. Our burgers, chicken, pork tenderloins and Italian steak sandwiches also get ordered all the time. You won’t go hungry when you leave here. That’s for sure.”

Smithers loves Knox, Indiana, and all of the great neighbors he has met over the last several years.

“I have met some of the best people in Knox,” he says. “I love living in the country. It’s very pretty.”

Smithers says he and his wife, Susan, and their son, John, love the laid back atmosphere of Knox.

“We love communicating with all of our great neighbors,” he says. “We get a lot of people in Bass Lake who want to catch up with their friends, watch a game and have a great meal with friends.”

Bass Lake Pub & Ristorante is located at 2869 South County Road 210 in Knox. For more info call 574-722-6668.

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