Regulars of Klink’s Resort at Williams Lake may notice something slightly different this summer season.
While everything may appear the same at first glance, the wildly popular Klink’s restaurant has undergone a tenant change and is now The Bistro at Williams Lake.
While the restaurant bears a new name, the look and feel of the place is much the same after longtime business owners and married couple Jerry Schrader and Robin Riemcke took over the restaurant as the new leasehold tenants.
“Jerry was working there last year in the kitchen and they (Klink’s) approached him with the idea of the two of us running the restaurant for them this season,” Riemcke said. “They just wanted to step away from the day-to-day operating of the restaurant.”
While Schrader and Riemcke now handle the “nuts and bolts” of the everyday operations of The Bistro at Williams Lake, the Klinks are still a mainstay around the restaurant and their influence is still felt by the current managers.
“We were taking over a business that they had owned for 24 years and had operated very successfully, so we weren’t inclined to change much,” Schrader said. “We were very grateful for their generosity to ask us to take over what they had put their blood sweat and tears and love into for 24 years, so it was very personal.”
As the current executive chef and former sous chef, one thing Schrader made sure remained relatively unchanged during the managerial transition has been the menu. Riemcke says the broad menu offers a variety of things for lunch including great salads, burgers, sandwiches and fish and chips while the dinner menu is more entrée driven with pastas, seafood dishes, salmon, and steaks that Schrader dry ages and hand cuts. Schrader and Riemcke even offer their own homemade bread.
While the transition has been relatively smooth for the longtime owner-operators since opening for the summer season April 19, the biggest challenge that Riemcke and Schrader have faced is gaining the acceptance of the longtime patrons of Klink’s who might not have been keen on the idea of change.
“Change is always hard for people and we totally understand that,” Riemcke said. “It’s hard to go in and not see the same faces that you’ve seen for numerous years whether it’s the Klink family or servers that have been there for three or four years. So that’s probably the biggest challenge, just kind of bringing people around and saying we really aren’t changing much, we still want to give you a wonderful dining experience out here.”
The Bistro at Williams Lake is open until September and is located at the Klink’s Resort at 18619 W. Williams Lake Road. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 235-6600.