West Point couple open water-side eatery
WEST POINT LAKE — There’s a new restaurant at Southern Harbor Resort & Marina. Joshua and Stephanie Crowe of West Point are the owners of The Crowe’s Nest. It’s in the same location of the Fractured Flamingo but has an all-new look and an all-new menu.
“We started the new business in mid-April,” said Joshua. “We repaired the roof, put in new plumbing and kitchen equipment and painted the place. We opened on Friday, June 18, and have been very busy since then. We are really pleased with the way things have been going.”
The new restaurant is open four days a week: 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, 5 till 10 on Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 till 9 on Sunday.
“Our biggest sellers are pizza and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches,” said Crowe. “The chicken bacon ranch wraps and our catfish are popular, too.”
The view of Southern Harbor, its iconic lighthouse and the many boats moored at the slips is unquestionably the most gorgeous setting for any restaurant in the east Alabama-west Georgia region and unlike most restaurants, most people don’t come there by land, they come by water.
“So far, I would say that between 60 and 70 percent of our customers come here by boat,” Crowe said. “They like the convenience of calling us when they are on the lake and having their order ready when they get here. We will walk down to the dock and hand it to them.”
The parking lot stays pretty full, too, on the weekends.
A huge asset for the new business is Leslie White, the lead cook. She’s Crowe’s mom and has 25 years of experience as a restaurant cook. For years, she was the manager of Chick DeLite on West Point’s east bank. She introduced the restaurant’s locally famous rooster sauce.
When it comes to sauce, White is a connoisseur.
“She makes all of our sauces,” Crowe said. “She has her own special blends. The one we have for catfish is really good. We also make our own ranch, barbecue, honey mustard, vinaigrette and of course, mom’s own special sauce.”
The Crowe’s Nest menu lists such appetizers as fried pickles and onion rings for $6.99 and corn nuggets, cheese dip and salsa and mozzarella sticks for $7.99.
The four-piece chicken tender basket, either fried or grilled, comes with fries, slaw and bread. It’s $11.99. The two-piece catfish plate with fries, slaw, hushpuppies, onions, pickles and lemons is $13.99. The eight-piece shrimp basket (fried or grilled) with fries, slaw and hushpuppies and the hamburger steak plate with onion gravy, fries, slaw and bread each go for $14.99.
Handheld items come with fries and a drink. Hamburgers are $6.99, cheeseburgers $7.99, catfish sandwiches and chicken sandwiches $8.99 each and the ever-popular Philly cheesesteak $9.99.
The wraps are real bargains. The Philly cheesesteak and the chicken bacon ranch are $4.99 each.
There’s a 12-inch cheese pizza for $10.99 and a 12-inch pepperoni pizza for $11.99.
The salads come with dressings such as Ranch, Thousand Islands, Creamy French and Raspberry Vinaigrette. A house salad topped with tomato, cheese and cucumbers is only $3.29. Chicken salad with your choice of fried or grilled chicken topped with tomato, cheese, onion, boiled egg and pickle spear is $7.99. A summer salad topped with strawberries, mandarin oranges, walnuts and finished with The Crowe’s Nest’s own raspberry vinaigrette is $8.99.
Desserts, including Key Lime pie, are $2.89.
There’s a menu item for “the little Crowers.” For $6.99, a little Crower can get their choice of a corn dog, popcorn shrimp, chicken bites, mac-n-cheese, and the ever-favorite PB&J.
Side items available include French fries, fried okra, coleslaw, potato salad and mac-n-cheese.
Drinks currently served at The Crowe’s Nest include Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, lemonade, sweet tea and water.
The Chambers County Commission has approved an alcohol license for The Crowe’s Nest. It must be approved by the ABC Board before alcoholic beverages can be served there. “We will serve beer and wine and some limited mixed drinks,” Crowe said. “This is a family restaurant, and we will not have a full bar. We don’t want that.”
Down the road, there will be entertainment such as karaoke and live bands at The Crowe’s Nest.
“Our goals are to keep people happy to not get any complaints,” Crowe said.
Joshua and Stephanie have two children, Brayden, age 11, and Savannah, who’s five. Brayden is a student at Long Cane Middle School and Savannah is being homeschooled.
The restaurant is a sideline business for Crowe. He has a full-time job with Adapt to Solve in LaGrange. A complete solutions provider, Adapt to Solve tracks and monitors various business operations. The company has grown to become a leading provider of access control and physical surveillance products with services dedicated to both large and small organizations.
The Crowe’s Nest is one of two restaurants on West Point Lake. The other is the Hooch Hideaway at Highland Marina. Both Highland Marina and Southern Harbor are owned by Darrell and Nicole Jones. They live in Tennessee and own five marinas altogether.
“There are few restaurants anywhere with a view like ours,” Crowe said. “People enjoy being on our front deck. It gives them a chance to relax and enjoy the surroundings.”
Crowe pretty much grew up on West Point Lake and has always loved it. “My two kids have lots of interests including youth baseball and gymnastics,” he said. “That’s okay, but I would also like for them to enjoy being out on the lake the way I did when I was growing up.”
He realizes there’s a learning curve with any new business. “We are really excited about it,” Crowe said. “We have gotten some good feedback on what we are doing. Right now, we just want local people to come and try us. We think they will enjoy coming here and will want to come back.”
Even though his mother was a true professional in restaurant work, Crowe never really thought about having a restaurant until very recently. “It kind of fell into our laps,” he said.
“I’m glad it worked out that way. We will do our best to make people happy. We just want them to know that we aren’t McDonalds or Burger King. There will sometimes be a wait, but we will make it right for you. If something is wrong, we will make it right.”
The Crowe’s Nest can be reached at (762) 217-7316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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