Photo by Gina Greco
Victoria and Michael Beck are the new owners of Toboggan Inn.
By Gina Greco
After about two months of renovations, The Toboggan Inn, formerly the Hard Times Cafe will be opening their doors for business at 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17.
Michael and Victoria Beck of Old Forge are the proud new owners of the building.
“I had been driving past here every day from work at the [Inlet] Golf Course. I’d see the ‘For Sale’ sign still up. It was just a dark building,” said Michael Beck. “I knew my wife wanted to do something different, so we looked into it,” he added.
Beck had a tie to the place since he used to bartend there back in the late nineties for the Websters.
“We had the intention to lease it, but we realized the lease would be about the same as the mortgage so we decided to buy it,” Victoria Beck said.
They needed to make sure they could get funds for all the work it needed.
“We knew it needed a lot of work, once we were in there, we realized it need more than we imagined,” Victoria Beck said.
“It needed a lot of love–we are giving it the love it needed,” she said.
The renovations started in early December.
Michael Beck said since the water was turned off for over a year, they had some issues with it.
“When we turned it on, it just started raining in the basement,” he said.
The Becks decided they didn’t want to carry on with the Hard Times Cafe name.
“We wanted something different, but wasn’t sure what that was. We were walking around the building when we thought about buying and came across a photo from the 50s of The Toboggan Inn. The picture was so cool, with the toboggan on the building, I knew that was what I wanted,” Victoria Beck said.
They said they will eventually put the toboggan up on the building, like the original.
Victoria Beck said she did put that photo up on their Facebook page and had quite a bit of feedback.
“It was really awesome to hear everyone’s history about the place,” she said.
Michael and Victoria Beck said they wanted a retro name with a fresh look.
“We had a vintage look in mind, to kind of go along with the history of the building,” Victoria Beck said.
Michael Beck said the place has never offered draft beer, but they will now have a few beers on tap to go with their menu of pub favorites and comfort foods. They will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We will be running specials, too,” Victoria Beck said.
They will have winter menu and a summer menu to accommodate everyone.
“It will be like it was, good quality, comfort food that is affordable,” she said.
She said after the purchase, she found a lot of antiques in the basement.
“There was a really cool looking tea pot and cooler I found. I want to clean them up and display them behind the bar,” she said.
Michael Beck discovered some history as well.
“When the guys were tearing apart the bar, they had to pull off layers of work. One of the layers was old panelling from the 60s and under that, there was drywall and behind that there was planking and one of the workers wrote April 9, 1928, with his name, Rusty Myer. It was cool to see that,” he said.
They said they are doing their best at keeping everything local.
“We want to support our community as much as possible,” Michael Beck said.
Their contractors, Michael Marleau Builder and Contractor, did all of the renovations with the help of the Becks’ family and friends.
Their new bar furniture is from Wilderness Interiors in Old Forge.
In the future, the Becks will be working on the two apartments upstairs.
“We know how hard it is for our locals to find year round, affordable housing,” Victoria Beck said.
The Becks said they wanted to thank the previous owner, Lisa Reichard for everything.
“She has been amazing throughout all this,” Victoria Beck said.