When a new restaurant opens at SML, word gets out fairly quickly, especially with social media. Take, for example, The Copper Kettle Co. restaurant in Hardy.
In early June, someone posted the following question to the Smith Mountain Lake News & Events page on Facebook: “Who’s been to the new restaurant at Indian Point? I know they have breakfast on weekends. Only been open a couple of weeks!”
That got followers on the page chiming in, including the restaurant’s owner and manager Mickey Martin.
“I had decided it was time to open my own place,” said Martin, who previously worked for The Westlake and The Waterfront country clubs.
The slogan on the menu sums up what The Copper Kettle offers: “Your place for old-fashioned, home-cooked dishes like Grandma used to make.”
Martin recruited head chef Sonny D (his last name is DiPaulo), who previously served as assistant chef at The Waterfront, and credited him for what’s on the menu.
“He learned country cooking there and had previous experience with Italian dishes,” Martin said. “That makes a really diverse menu possible.”
The menu includes beef dishes, such as meatloaf, ribeye and filet steaks, beef tenderloin tips and half-pound burgers as well as seafood entrees, including catfish, popcorn shrimp, mussels, mahi-mahi, crabcakes and salmon.
For those craving Italian, there is shrimp scampi, lasagna, chicken parmigiana and a “farm fresh vegetable toss” over linguine with garlic bread. There also are those home-cooked dishes — roast turkey, southern-fried pork chop, Salisbury steak and shrimp and grits.
Dessert lovers may indulge in a slice of coconut cream pie, cake (red velvet, chocolate and hummingbird) or creamy banana pudding, served in a mini-Mason jar.
There also is a separate menu for lunch and one just for kids.
Breakfast fans may want to try the Appalachian breakfast buffet, available Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The all-you-want buffet features scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, grits, pancakes and biscuits, sausage gravy as well as strawberry and chocolate gravy.
The restaurant has about 18 tables, inside and out on the deck. Those dining alfresco can enjoy the lake scenery and on-water activities around the Indian Point cove. There is plenty of boat and vehicle parking, too.
Lake resident Jeff Wetter recently dined at the restaurant with friends after having visited for lunch the week prior.
“We loved the food and wanted to give a relaxing evening meal a try,” Wetter said.
Although the restaurant opened before it obtained a license to sell alcohol, Martin said word-of-mouth through the community and on social media has been favorable.
“The first year for a restaurant is always a challenge,” Martin said. “We made a significant investment in clean-up, furniture and equipment to get the place open, and we’re working to build a good base of resident customers who will visit us often during the off-season.”
The Copper Kettle Co. is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catering and online ordering also are available.
The restaurant is located on Morewood Road near Westlake Corner and by water near channel marker R37. For more information, visit thecopperkettleco.com.