Lakeside Chalet Restaurant to celebrate 30 years

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Cissy Sanders and Terry Daenzer, of Ryderwood, enjoy a brownie treat, strawberry milkshake and orange float with their grandsons Nate and Bryce Anderson, of Hockinson, on the patio overlooking Lacamas Lake, at Lakeside Chalet restaurant, in Camas. Restaurant owners Nick and Paula Stanley plan to host a 30-year business anniversary barbecue later this summer.

The owners of Lakeside Chalet restaurant describe it as a very family-friendly business.

Child-friendly touches include several toys that are available for use, such as a Fisher-Price plastic mobile pony that is frequently in action around the dining room.

“We’re ‘family-casual,'” Paula Stanley said.

“Mom and pop,” her husband Nick Stanley added.

They and Paula’s ex-husband – the restaurant’s manager and main cook Steve Gibson – are part of “one big blended family,” according to Nick.

Gibson, Paula and her parents Paul and Phyllis Anderson bought Lakeside Chalet in 1980. The Andersons retired 11 years later. Nick and Paula became the sole owners in 1999.

Paula, 52, was born and raised in Camas, and she has lived in this area for most of her life. Nick, 49, grew up in Chicago and moved to Camas in 1999.

Lakeside Chalet customers include all ages.

“It’s where friends and family gather,” Paula said, while quoting the words on the restaurant’s sign.

Customers include residents involved in the Osprey Walking Group and local residents who eat breakfast near the restaurant’s entrance. The dozen or so retired morning regulars include former paper mill employees, an aircraft engineer and teacher.

“We have had amazing customers over the years,” Paula said. “We’d sure like to thank them for 30 wonderful years and their loyalty. Truly, I absolutely love the business. It’s in my blood.”

Decorative birdhouses, photo frames, salt and pepper shakers and Christmas ornaments are among the gift shop items on display throughout the restaurant. There are also several examples of artwork created by local residents, including Bev Hughey, of Washougal, and Tim Johnson, of Camas.

The restaurant includes a main dining room, a patio overlooking Lacamas Lake and seating near the kitchen.

The yearlong 30th anniversary celebration has included once a month specials, such as $4.99 pork roast dinners in January and $2.50 spaghetti in February. A barbecue, featuring hamburgers, hot dogs and baked beans for $1.99, is in the planning stages for later this summer.

“It will be a fun atmosphere,” Paula said.

The restaurant is available for private banquets. The Camas High School Class of 1960 recently gathered on the Lakeside Chalet patio.

Reunion participants sent thank you notes to the restaurant’s owners and staff after the event.

“We just really appreciate that,” Paula said. “We feel very blessed to have been here for so long. We have a great staff too.”

“Yes we do,” Nick added.

A new menu will soon feature roast beef sandwiches and vegetarian items.

“We like to keep up with the times if we can,” Paula said. “You never stop learning. It’s amazing the changes in food – from the home cooking of comfort food to health conscious and carbs. There’s something new all the time. We are comfort food and home cooking. You try to cover the bases without going to the extremes. We are comfortable, that is what we want to be.”

Current menu items include Belgian strawberry waffles, Hawaiian omelets, turkey cheese melt sandwiches, swiss mushroom burgers, veal cutlets and sirloin steak. Dinners are also available for smaller appetites. There are daily breakfast, lunch and dinner specials.

Paula makes pies, cheesecakes and fudge, while Nick makes soup. Gibson is known for his clam chowder.

“It’s the best,” Paula said.

Lakeside Chalet, 3533 N.E. Everett St., Camas, is open Sunday through Tuesday, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 834-3430.