Archived Story

Brothers bring new businesses to lake

Published 9:15pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brothers Nick and Richard Davis have worked together to create several new businesses on Lake Martin.

Creekside Lodge and Conference Center, Uncle Nick’s Smokehouse On Lake Martin and Paradise Lake Catering are now open on Highway 49 South in Dadeville.

A portable Momma Goldberg’s Deli will be up and running soon.

Nick, who owns the lakeside property where all four are located, owns Nick’s along with Sergio Marentes. Richard and his wife, Mary, who just moved to the lake from Ohio are the innkeepers and business owners at the lodge.

“We’re family-owned, family-operated and we want it to be a family atmosphere,” Richard said. “Your place at the lake – Nick’s, Paradise, Creekside Lodge and Momma G’s.”

Creekside Lodge, which is located in the same building as the old Creekside Lodge that closed in December 2009, has been completely revamped by its new owners. The lodge opened its doors April 1 and held its grand opening and ribbon cutting April 28.

“The bookings are going really well,” Nick said. “We’re almost a little shocked. We’ve done almost no marketing because we wanted to kind of have a soft opening and make sure we’re ready – same thing we’re doing with the restaurant.”

The lodge has 25 rooms, as well as three two-room suites that include full kitchens.

“We have a lot of repeat customers already which is pretty amazing to us,” Nick said. “There are five or six people who have been here not only multiple nights but have come back already in a six-week period, which is pretty astonishing to me.”

The conference center can serve as a venue for business meetings, weddings, receptions, family reunions and more, which is where Paradise Lake Catering enters the picture.

“(The Conference Center) is a beautiful facility and with the deck and the banquet room we can accommodate up to 250 guests,” said Sherri Wilson, director of group sales and catering. “We have several different menu choices to choose from. We can do the heavy hors d’oeurvres menu for the wedding receptions which are the most popular, but we can also do a sit down plated dinner, buffets, break items – everything that you can think of.”

Nick said that Nick’s Smokehouse, which is located next door to the lodge and opened Wednesday afternoon, offers a “typical smokehouse” menu that includes ribs, a full barbecue line, smoked salmon, steak and grilled shrimp.

“We’re trying to do some different menu items that aren’t in this area,” he said. “We’ve got great restaurants here on the lake, Oskar’s and Niffer’s, and we’re trying to get somewhere they’re not. They do a great job. We don’t want to compete directly with them, we just want to give some additional choices in the area.”

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Nick, who owns five Momma Goldberg’s in Auburn, Opelika and Huntsville, said he is working to finalize the details on his portable Momma Goldberg’s Deli at the lake.

“It’s going to be called ‘Momma Goldberg’s on the Lake,’ or ‘Momma’s on the Lake.’ We want it to be up and running before Memorial Day — by the week of May 23.”

He said the portable kiosk will likely have a limited menu and will be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

“But we’ll definitely be a Momma G’s and you’ll definitely have a Momma’s Love,” he said. “You’re going to have the key three or four sandwiches for sure. We’re not sure about the full menu yet. We’re going to get in and see how it works.”

Nick said he discovered the empty lodge property in April 2010 when he visted the lake area to look for a spot to open a new Momma Goldberg’s.

“We kind of backed into it,” he said. “It wasn’t a great strategic plan. So we got the property and said OK, we’ve got to do something. Richard came down and showed an interest in it and I thought it was a great idea.”

Nick and Richard said the lodge will offer many amenities to guests, such as a shuttle to Auburn on home football gamedays and golf packages with StillWaters Golf and Country Club.

“It’s really a good business model because you’ve got people in the summer for the lake, fall for Auburn football, winter for fishers and hunters and Christmas parties, and then of course the spring is for the brides. Wedding season,” Nick said. “So really we have four distinct business seasons.”

Nick said he wants the restaurant and lodge to feel like home to guests.

“We don’t want it to be stuffy. We want people to feel comfortable,” he said. “We’re trying to be extremely good neighbors to the community, and we certainly want to give our guests an inviting place to come. We want the restaurant to be something someone would want to come to three or four times a week, not once a month.”