DRAFT – The Meadows-Meadows By The Lake-Meadows Public House 1930-2017-The Most Southern Pub in Canada – DRAFT
By Jan Martlin & Bill McKinnon
There are many local businesses that started off as completely different entities. The Meadows is one such establishment. It was originally part of the stagecoach route coming from Windsor along the shoreline of Essex County. The stops included the Barrell Tavern in River Canard, Anderdon Tavern in Anderdon Township. The Meadows House in Malden Township and King’s Landing in Kingsville. Stops were about 8-16 miles apart, depending on the route to allow for a change of fresh horses. Some of the stops had rooms to let as well a home cooked food. Stan Holden rebuilt he property in 1928 as a variety store and gas station.
Just after prohibition ended in 1927, Mark and Bell Marontate, who were the owners of the property at that time, applied for and were issued a “House” license for the premises. In those days the alcohol laws were very strict. The ruling was that on the Men’s side only beer could be sold and not have an alcohol content of more than 6%. On the Ladies’ & Escorts’ side, only wine & beer could be served, but only if you were eating. No liquor was served. Those rules were in effect until the 1970s. Fred Martin purchased it from the Marontates in 1937. Mr. Brown became an owner in 1940 then it was transferred to Mr. Rablik in 1941; Mr. Cupenchuk in 1942; Warren Parr in 1950 then Jack Finlay. Jack added the kitchen and a cold room in 1965. He perfected the fried pickerel recipe that was passed on to future owners.
Helen & Joe Martlin purchased it in 1972. In May 1983, The Martlins were able to get a liquor license and it became The Meadows Tavern. Joe and Helen were charters member of the Essex County Amateur Wine Makers.
Jim Atwell purchased it in 1983. Jim ran it as a bar rather than a bar restaurant. But every now and again he surprised the locals and had a first-rate chef. Who could forget the sauteed frog legs or the cherries jubilee flambeed at the table? It was a great treat while it lasted.
Linda Kramer & Dave Aston purchased it in 1998. They spent a lot of time sprucing it up as well as having some great parties. Who could forget the sold-out New Year’s Eve 2000? Everyone partied like it was 1999. And there were the Meadowettes. What a great event and great marketing. Members of the Meadowettes rehearsed for weeks and their families and friends came to watch the rehearsals, eat and have some beverages. Genius. It was another sold-out event.
Wayne & Neda Jahn picked it up in 2003. They put their own special spin on it as well and continued with the pizza tradition that Linda Kramer had perfected. The Jahn’s were very community oriented. They participated in many events such as the Ride for Dad, JDRF Fundraisers, Harrow Foodbank drives, and sponsored sports teams. Wayne purchased a 20-passenger van for wine tours of the area. It was a great success. And after the tours food at the Meadows. Tragedy struck in the form of a fire, twice during Jahn’s ownership. First in October 2008 and later in September 2014. It was devastating for the Jahn’s as well as the community. Bruno Morin and Joe Monteleone, purchased Meadows By The Lake Bar and Grill in 2016 with the hopes of turning it into The Meadows Public House. The new owners planned to rebuild it, but that never happened. It was a great loss to the neighbourhood.
The Meadows had the special status of being situated in the extreme southeast corner of Malden Township, right next to Colchester Township, which was a dry Township until 1985. Customers came from far and wide, but always stopped at The Meadows on the way to their cottage. Who does not have a story about the Meadows or Club Med as we used to call it?
Jan & Bill