Owner puts land to use

The owner of the Lake Tavern is planning to hold four to six concerts annually starting in 2008.



MECCA — The amphitheater where Average White Band will perform Saturday is the latest piece in John Palasics’ entertainment business.

Palasics owns the adjacent Lake Tavern. He bought the 1837 building five years ago and completely renovated it.

The thriving restaurant-bar now features a complete menu and live music on weekends.

Earlier this summer, Palasics decided to use the grassy property that slopes away from the Tavern to Mosquito Lake for concerts.

The first show, on Aug. 25, was an Elvis impersonator. The AWB show will be the second use of the property.

For the AWB concert, Palasics is renting a stage that will be set up with its back to the trees that line the lakefront.

It’s all part of his interest in the lakefront area where he spent his childhood, and now lives.

“The outdoor area completes the Lake Tavern complex,” he said. “We want to give people a place to go. It’s for everybody. You can bring your grandchildren.”

Food from Lake Tavern will be available at the AWB concert, as will be beer and liquor. Picnic tables are on the site, and concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs.

Future shows

The AWB show will be the final show of the year, but Palasics plans to hold four to six concerts annually starting in 2008. “I’ll work on the shows over the winter,” he said.

A permanent stage structure is also planned. The AWB concert will be a test-run that will provide answers as to where to situate the stage and how to handle parking.

The amphitheater can hold a few thousand people.

Palasics, who runs a Landstar Trucking agency in Cleveland, has always been a fan of live music and is pleased with his new venue.

“There’s something special about live music, especially in a smaller, outdoorsy setting,” he said.