After 11 years, Dockside is closing its doors. Special thanks to Nancy and Todd Bundy and their family for their dedication to the Lakeside community. The DockDogs and DockRunner service will be greatly missed. We wish the Bundy family the very best!

 Just like many people who have spent time at Lakeside, Jen and Ben Linville know how special this place is. They cherish the traditions, honor the heritage and are excited to share this place with their young family.

But unlike many people, the Linvilles are presented with the opportunity to contribute to the special traditions in a new and exciting way, and all of Lakeside gets to take part in it.

Jen and Ben are the owners and operators of Lakeside’s newest culinary addition, the Bluebird Café, which will take the place of Dockside at the Pavilion.

Bluebird’s mission will be to offer Lakeside with fresh, simple ingredients and contribute a wholesome and healthy option to Lakeside’s taste palate.

“We love good, authentic food, and we want to share that with Lakeside,” Jen said. “There are obviously lots of great restaurants in Lakeside, but what we are trying to do just feels like a natural fit for this push towards health and wellness and is just what Lakeside needs right now.”

The menu will be mostly salads and smoothies, with some additional options for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Bluebird is also hoping to partner with Healthy Bakes, who you may have seen at the Farmers’ Market, to offer their breads and pastries.

The name of the restaurant comes from Jen’s belief that a bluebird represents a promise.

“Every new change or chapter in my life, I felt like God was reassuring me with a promise that things will be okay,” she said. “In fact, I was just talking about the restaurant the other day, and a bluebird came and landed near me.”

With that in mind, Bluebird Café is committed to serving and giving Lakeside something fresh and delicious that is appetizing, satisfying and meets their uncompromising standards for excellence. It is their promise to Lakeside.

Just like Bluebird’s predecessor, the restaurant will be a quick-serve style eatery, but with a new ambiance.

“The goals for the space are to make it cozy and comfortable, yet bright and fresh,” Jen said. “We are installing hanging plants and lights to make it feel like a garden and be reflective of Lakeside’s magic.”

To fully invite the community to be a part of their new adventure, they hope to offer fun projects for community members to contribute to the space with art, such as a community photo wall or canvas paintings.

“We want Bluebird to be as big a part of the community as possible,” Jen said. “So what better way to do that than to have the community contribute art?”

To even further serve Lakesiders in a new way, Bluebird plans to offer online ordering through an app and “Fly-By” delivery during certain hours of operation.

Ben’s background as a software developer will give them the edge on developing their own app. Jen works as a staff accompanist at the University of Mount Union, where she plays piano for the choral programs.

In fact, Lakesiders may recognize Jen as the piano player for Dockside Worship, and her sons, Raef and Felix, as her assistants in handing out programs.

“This just feels like such a great fit, because the Pavilion area has always been so special to us,” Jen said. “My first day visiting Lakeside is when I fell in love with my, now, husband. I think that day set me up to understand that Lakeside is the most magical place in the world.”

Ben and Jen permanently reside in North Canton, but just last year acquired a seasonal campsite and very much look forward to spending more time than ever at Lakeside this summer.

Bluebird Café will be open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, from 7 a.m.-sunset, Monday-Saturday (but closed during Vespers on Tuesday and Thursday) and 11 a.m.-sunset, Sundays.