For Marcie Wade, owner of KORV 93.5 FM in Lakeview, there was opportunity in vacancy to revive a historic epicenter of Lake County social life.
The Indian Village Restaurant and Lounge has undergone many changes over more than a century, including removal of its upper-floors hotel, and it was once again shuttered at the end of 2019 after the restaurant operators, Lorene Singleton and Brittany Havely, chose to relocate to another abandoned Lakeview eatery – The Dinner Bell Café.
Following acquisition and a month of renovations, Wade has reopened the venerable Indian Village, returning a beloved centerpiece of downtown Lakeview back to life. Built in the early 20th century, like much of Lakeview’s downtown in the wake of a devastating 1900 fire, the structure survived another major downtown fire in 1916. Known originally as the Lakeview Hotel, It became a mainstay in the region, but in the 1960s its upper floors were demolished, reducing it to a single-story restaurant and social center.
Long declared as the Indian Village due to a vast collection of Native American artifacts that were once prominently displayed in the building under previous ownership, the restaurant was closed in the 1990s, and sat in relative dormancy for years aside from occasional brief and ultimately unsuccessful re-opening attempts.
In 2015 the Indian Village was reopened under new ownership, but in 2016 the building was sold to a local real estate developer who revamped the site with a night club and restaurant design, and removed the previous restaurant operators.
In the time since the restaurant has undergone several different owners, and a shortened name change to simply “The Village,” though Wade has returned the site to its well-known historic and sentimental namesake. A ribbon-cutting ceremony involving the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and subsequent opening party was held on Saturday, Feb. 1 marking the official reopening.
Wade also manages the bar at the Lakeview Elks Lodge.
“The Indian Village is the heart of downtown Lakeview,” Wade told the Lake County Examiner. “I love Lake County, and I want to see this continue.”
While only open Thursdays through Sundays, Wade hopes to draw consistent crowds through a return to being a social center of activities for Lakeview. In the few weeks since its reopening Wade has regularly scheduled special events such as gamenights, concerts, sports watch parties, dinner specials, club meetings, and a special ladies’ night on the second Thursday of each month titled, “Cocktails and Crafts.”
Wade intends to have bands perform on weekends, as well as schedule comedy nights and specialty dinners once-a-month.
The Indian Village is located at 508 S. 1st St., Lakeview. For more information call 541-947-2399 or visit the Indian Village Facebook page.