Willard Lake 2017



Every summer, D and I get together with old friends from Toronto at their summer home on Willard Lake. Although we have lived in different cities for almost 20 years, our friendship has stayed strong with these annual visits and finding other reasons and places to connect as well.

We met when M and I were both enrolled in the Dramatic Studies program at the University of Winnipeg. We shared our second pregnancies and lived on the same street. In between, we both worked at The Keg ‘n Cleaver now known as The Keg Steakhouse + Bar. In addition to our meet up, I met husband D at The Keg as well. A third couple join us every year and what is our connection to them? Well she worked at The Keg Garry St. too.

Each year, we establish a theme for the Saturday evening of our weekend together. This year we tossed around a Canada 150 theme and then our host suggested that since we all met at and still love The Keg, we should have a Keg themed dinner. To acknowledge how long we have known each other, we add the 70’s to the formula. So even though some of our menu items are still on the Keg menu today, they had to have appeared on Keg menus in the 70s.


Our Saturday afternoon began on the dock with decadent Silver Clouds, made with cream de cacao and amaretto blended with cream and then topped with whipping cream and Kahlua.


From there we moved the short distance to an outside dining area where a blush wine was served with three traditional Keg appetizers:




Bacon Wrapped Scallops


and Shrimp Cocktail. At this point we took a wee break, changed our clothes and moved inside. D (on the far left) had already gotten changed into his Keg attire.


D was a broiler assistant in the 70s and so here he is pictured in a chef’s jacket with his hair slicked down as it would appear after an evening in the steamy broiler area.


Here he is after a shower enjoying our next round of pre-dinner cocktails. This time Kamikazes!


This is me in my full length dress like the ones we had to wear when I was a Keg hostess.


This is former cocktail waitress M


and her husband R, the Torontonians.


L was a Keg bartender back in the 70s but you may recognize her as your more recent bartender at Winnipeg’s Palomino Club.


Her significant other fit right into the 70s theme.


But I digress, back to the food. M and L set up an abbreviated Keg salad bar complete with baby corn, which we decided not to take out of the can.


Here is our Keg entrée: mushrooms served in an authentic mini iron skillet, a perfectly cooked medium rare steak, baked potato with the works i.e. sour cream, butter, chives and bacon (that had been cooked on the barbeque the day previous). We added some fresh beans to increase the vitamin content of dinner. As you can see, we always imbibed in a selection of red wines.

Full disclosure here: I was full after our appetizer course and had to cease eating my entrée after a couple of bites. BUT, there was more!


Bartender L made us all Spanish Coffees


to slurp along with our Billy Miner Pie!

When I think back to the day I landed my part time job at The Keg: who knew I would meet my future husband and so many lifelong friends? We worked our young butts off and partied hard. We also learned about teamwork, putting the guest before our personal needs and the difference that quality makes. Whatever The Keg had going for it in those early days has not changed a whole lot and I for one am proud of it.

Kath’s quotes: “Treat the guests of The Keg like you were inviting them into your own home.” -George Tidball, founder of The Keg

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Love never fails.






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