There's a new name heating things up on Lake Zumbro this summer.
John Stancyk, the local creator of Uncle John's Bloody Mix, bought the Party Cove Bar and Grill from Jim and Connie Hasley on May 22. By May 23, Stancyk was already cooking at the renamed Uncle John's Bar and Grill at 12510 Oak Lodge Lane, near King's Marina.
"I've looked at restaurants and resorts for more than 25 years. I've always loved to cook," he says. "In March, I turned 50. I said to myself, 'If you ever going to do that, you'd better do it now or it is not going to happen.' I just jumped in with both feet."
Of course, because Uncle John is in the kitchen, look for his Bloody Marys at the bar.
"I figure if you are going to have a bar and you are already selling Bloody Marys, you might as well combine them," he says.
That means Bloody Mary specials during the new afternoon hours as things get rolling. The bar logo also comes from the Uncle John's mix label.
However, Uncle John's Bar and Grill is about a lot more than just a drink. "We've kept the menu with its burgers and broasted chicken mostly the same for now, but we'll be doing some more changes. I'm more into home-cooked comfort foods," he says.
He plans to try out food specials to jazz up the menu, like deep-fried fresh asparagus. Another one — pulled pork made with his special rub — seems to be hit already. "I've sold about 120 pounds of it in the last week," Stancyk says.
To top it off, he has his own Uncle John's barbecue sauce. The hope is to start bottling the barbeque sauce to add to his Uncle John's line of products.
Since he has so much cooking on Lake Zumbro right now, that project might be on the back burner for the moment.
"We've expanded the hours. We're still closed on Monday and Tuesday, But we open at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday now. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we open at noon," Stancyk says.