Sproat Lake Landing – Past and Present
Sproat Lake Landing is located just off the Pacific Rim Hwy, midway down Lakeshore Road. Coming off of the water, a long dock leads up to a resort-like, luxury hotel, an upscale waterfront restaurant and lounge, a café and most recently a small grocery store. During the summer months, there is also a taco truck parked just outside the café for snacks on the go. Sproat Lake Landing is in the heart of Klehkoot Bay with Tall Timbers holiday park just down the road and the Sproat Lake Provincial Park just a bit further. Thanks to the Sproat Lake Parks Commission, there are now trails on either side of the resort for people to safely access the facilities by foot.
Drinkwaters Lakeside Restaurant and Lounge have some of the best seasonal entrees made fresh by an amazing and resourceful culinary team, craft beer on tap and stunning handcrafted cocktails. Currently, Drinkwaters has an unbelievable prime rib special every Sunday that locals and regulars boast about. Dallas Café across the road has a large variety of to-die-for baked goods, sandwiches, and wraps as well as hot and cold coffee and tea beverages. In the café, you will also find local artisan gifts, jellies, jams, cheeses and more. Attached to the café is a small grocery store which has been a major plus for full-time lake residents in the area.
Sproat Lake Landing is an iconic part of the lake community but also has some interesting history. Over the years, things have transitioned from your neighbourhood pub through renovations to upscale the restaurant and hotel, to a heartbreaking fire, a complete rebuild and with the help of owners, staff, and supportive patrons. Sproat Lake Landing has established what we know today as one of Port Alberni’s luxury dining and lodge locations.
Formally known as “The Westbay”, the hotel and restaurant have been a staple part of the Sproat Lake community for many, many years. In the prime of the Westbay years, the operations offered a fully functioning hotel, liquor store and pub-style restaurant. You simply cannot beat the waterfront! Boat-up location and the pub not only attracted locals but visitors passing through on their way to the West Coast with a delicious homestyle cooking menu. The Westbay was a popular hotspot to host events and bands throughout the summer months, which was a great addition to the nightlife of our community. In the late 2000s, new owners with a fresh outlook and ideas for the Westbay Hotel and Restaurant took over and rebranded the building to “Sproat Lake Landing.” Sproat Lake Landing overwent major renovations, utilizing local contractors and products to complete the project. During the renovation process of the restaurant’s kitchen, staff got creative and were able to turn the patio into a fully functioning BBQ station. In addition to serving cold drinks, bar staff took on the role of grill masters and served BBQ burgers and salads. It was a hit! People loved the laid-back feel of pulling up on their boat and relaxing on the patio. It was a bonus for the staff to continue serving patrons as the renovations took place over the course of the summer months. Once the kitchen was complete, the restaurant resumed normal service with a tasty menu that had people coming back time and time again!
Sproat Lake Landing Today
On March 23, 2011, Sproat Lake Landing devastatingly burnt down due to a fire which was believed to have started in the laundry room. The fire was spotted by an off-duty Sproat Lake Fire Department volunteer and thankfully there were no casualties. Owners of the hotel and restaurant knew immediately that they would rebuild the hotel and stores. During the rebuild, the restaurant moved the patio to sit overlooking the waterfront as well as 7 guestrooms with the same gorgeous view.
In recent years, Sproat Lake Landing has obtained new owners who have exciting plans to expand and benefit the Sproat Lake community and Port Alberni as a whole. Although the name has changed and things have shifted and have been rebuilt throughout the years, Sproat Lake Landing will continue to be an attraction for visitors from all over. Our community is looking forward to seeing what’s next for Sproat Lake Landing!
Written by Stephanie Wakelin, at The Valley Vibe. Port Alberni’s fast-growing community and online magazine. The passion here at the Valley Vibe is to showcase the beauty of our valley for all who live here and travel through. Working together with many talented writers, we at the Valley Vibe love to explore, discover and uncover secret jewels about Port Alberni and Sproat Lake.