One of Durango’s relatively hidden eateries, The Boathouse at Electra restaurant sits along a 10-mile shoreline overlooking the pristine waters of Electra Lake. The building, accessible by boat and car, was constructed in 1929 by the Electra Sporting Club, which also manages daily recreation at the lake.
The restaurant is seasonal and will open for the summer on June 8 under new management. It will feature a new menu with locally-sourced ingredients.
Couple Dave and Jenn Stewart, previously chefs at Seasons of Durango, are at the helm of the Boathouse. They assumed operation of the restaurant after taking a yearlong break from cooking.
“I was a chef at Seasons from 2005 through spring of last year. I was ready for some down time after more than 10 years of80-hour work weeks. We spent most of last year lying low, trying to figure out the next step in our career,” Dave said.
It was then that a good friend and member of the sporting club suggested they take over operation of the Boathouse.
“We had never been to the lake before and never saw the building, but when we came out to see the restaurant, we fell in love with the place immediately. How could we say no?” Dave said.
The Boathouse primarily serves members of the sporting club, but also is open to the public with a reservation.
“In order for the general public to obtain access through the entrance gate, we give the guard our reservation list,” Jenn said. It is recommended that diners reserve their spot at the restaurant at least a day in advance.
With new management comes the new menu, Dave said. The food is created from scratch and diners can expect the menu to change with the growing season. Most of the Boathouse’s ingredients come from local farmers.
“We have beef from James Ranch ... We will be working with Twin Buttes in Durango and Mountain Roots Produce in Mancos to supply most of our produce. The food will be light, fresh and healthy. We get fresh fish brought in three times a week as well,” Dave said.
The restaurant is open for dinner 4-9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday with the introduction of Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Stewarts are also adding picnic baskets to the menu.
“You can pick up picnic baskets to go with a day’s notice and they are in reusable totes. People can pull their boat up to the dock outside and I can run out their picnic basket to them ... They can bring the empty container back once they’re done,” Jenn said.
The reservation book is filling up for the weekend and the Stewarts agree that running the Boathouse is like a dream come true.
“It’s fun to be out on our own and to have a chance to do it ourselves. We are excited to be a part of the history of Electra Sporting Club. Although we are a remote destination, we have a built-in clientele of a hundred or so families that live here,” Dave said.