CICERO, Ind. — June is officially here and the warm weather will send many of us pool side or—if we’re lucky—lake side.
About 40 minutes north of downtown Indianapolis is the small town of Cicero, where Morse Reservoir is the go-to scene for lakeside fun.
But the trip isn’t complete without a stop at Boathouse Kitchen and Swan Dive, located right on the water west of downtown Cicero at 409 W Jackson Street.
The building itself had previously been a restaurant, but it sat vacant for almost a year before Matt Hall took ownership and renovated it last year.
“He and his team just poured their heart and soul into this,” said Dagny Zupin, Communications Director for Boathouse Kitchen and Swan Dive. “They just really wanted it to have the awesome atmosphere that it does today.”
The Boathouse officially opened for business in November of 2018, but 2019 will mark their first summer in business, as well as their official coming out party as Cicero’s newest must-visit lakeside hangout.
“There’s just something really special about being on the lake that makes people relax and really connect with their family more,” said Zupin. “We’ve just noticed when people are sitting out here on the patio; you can tell they’re looking at the view. They’re not on their phones and that’s just awesome to see.”
After a long afternoon on the water, guests can dock their boats out front for easy "parking" while they come in to grab a bite to eat.
Whether you’re sitting inside or outside on their large patio with outdoor bar, there’s plenty of room to relax, enjoy a good meal and take in the view.
Inside, the décor is a nostalgic nod to lake life.
“When you walk in, you see a bunch of photographs that are black and white on the wall and those were actually photos submitted by people here in Cicero and Noblesville,” Zupin said. “It shows them waterskiing on the lake and diving off the dock…It really reflects the community and how much the lake has been part of this community.”
On weekends, expect to see the docks full of boats and plenty of people enjoying a cocktail on the patio.
Four Things You Need to Know About Boathouse Kitchen and Swan Dive:
- Boathouse Kitchen and Swan Dive is open Monday-Thursday from 4:30-9:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am-11 pm and Sundays from 11 am-8 pm.
- You can drive up and park outside or dock your boat out front for convenient access to the Boathouse, where you can enjoy a great meal and/or cocktails inside or on their large outdoor patio seating space (which also features an outdoor bar).
- Some of their most popular cocktails include the summery Cucumber Caprioska and the Mighty Might Old Fashioned. When it comes to food, they offer all the beloved lakeside classics, but their most popular menu items are their flatbreads, Pontoon Pete burger and the fried Brussels sprouts.
- Follow Boathouse Kitchen and Swan Dive on social media to keep an eye on special events like their Sunset Showcase featuring live music Thursday-Saturday nights or for charity events like their Dragon Boat Race last month, which benefited a local breast cancer survivors' group.
Two of their most popular drinks are the refreshing Cucumber Caprioska—made with organic cucumber vodka, fresh lime juice and a simple syrup—and the Mighty Mite Old Fashioned.
“We actually have that on tap because it’s so popular so we make it here ourselves, they make a huge batch of it and then they put it on tap,” Zupin Explained. “It’s really delicious.”
Their menu features the lakeside classics like fish and chips and “frickles” (also known as fried pickles), as well as boathouse favorites like their flavorful flat breads.
“We have a great Margherita flatbread that has fresh basil and fresh tomatoes on it,” she said. “There’s [also]a barbecue flatbread and I just think barbecue is good on everything so those are really popular as well.”
If you’re a burger lover, try their best-selling Pontoon Pete.
“That’s a double burger with Pete’s secret sauce, lettuce and onion… it’s one of our most popular items on the menu.”
Instead of French fries, we opted to sub in their fried Brussels sprouts—which already cultivated quite the following.
But these aren’t your average Brussels sprouts. Here, they are fried, tossed in vinaigrette and topped with bacon bits and parmesan.
“Two out of three people who come here choose Brussels sprouts over French fries which I think is just unheard of,” Zupin exclaimed.
They’re so popular the Boathouse even offers a salad featuring the grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes and the highly lauded Brussels sprouts.
For more information about Boathouse Kitchen and Swan Dive, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also keep up with their latest events and other happenings by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Hungry for more adventure in Cicero? Check out some of the town’s other best-loved local hot spots: