Jake’s-on-Lake Adapts to Pandemic Restrictions

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AVON LAKE, Ohio — The squeak of the door is a typical sound heard by customers on a regular day, but due to the coronavirus, the sound of a car window rolling down is the new normal when ordering food.

The sign at the opening of the driveway

Jake’s on Lake is a restaurant and bar located in Avon Lake, and has been open since 2009. The building that houses Jake’s has been established for 150 years but has not seen something so extreme as current  restrictions put on restaurants.

Jake’s is known for its fresh Lake Erie Perch dinners and sandwiches during Lenten season, creating a challenge to serve hungry customers on Friday nights.

During the first week of restrictions with a full menu, Jake’s experienced an overflow of orders that the staff couldn’t keep up with, resulting in angry customers and calling the police to control the number of people in the restaurant.

Owner’s Jim and Sharon DePaul have adapted to the current circumstances to make ordering and receiving perch easier.

“The guys [employees] can only put out so much food,” Sharon said. “We had such high volume in such a short amount of time, and then people were crabby and showing up and coming in. So, we just decided that the best way to do it, and I don’t know if you saw the parking lot, is we made a two-lane drive through.”

Not only are customers supporting local business owners, but they are supporting a local staff, many of whom live nearby.

“We have kept the people employed who want to be employed,” Sharon said. “We have the people who want to work and the rest of them have either opted to go on unemployment or felt like they were too afraid.”

The sign purchased by Don and Linda Orient

But customers are supportive outside of purchasing food from Jake’s as well. Regular patrons Don and Linda Orient placed a sign in the front flower beds of the restaurant to show their unity with the staff during the pandemic.