The Cove blends tried-and-true favourites with new trends for customer engagement
WESTPORT - There is always something new to experience at The Cove Country Inn.
It could be a night out at the popular Blues on the Rideau, a concert series benefiting local causes, Wings 'n Tunes Wednesdays, Jazz Night or a special menu event like the Thai Food and Wine Dinner. The Cove, winner of the 2016 South Eastern Ontario Wedding Awards Best Accommodation prize, is keeping true to being a community hub and a fun destination.
"We're adamant about presenting the best that we can," says Seamus Cowan, who is enjoying managing the family business his parents Mary and Terry bought nearly 30 years ago. He and his siblings, twin brother Jeff and sister Jennifer, grew up washing dishes and helping serve tables. The entire family, from near or far, is still involved in the operations.
"We have the most success by being diversified," says Seamus of keeping customers engaged year round. He and The Cove staff, which swells to about 35 in the peak months, focus on quality service to please multiple generations of locals, tourists and new-world travellers alike.
Creating both pub and "comfort food" menus alongside more adventurous culinary events is key. Seamus credits The Cove chef Joanne Edwards for her range of delicious creations and multi-course events with wine and beer pairings. "She's one of the best chefs we have ever had and she has put us on the culinary map."
Blending great foods with quality entertainment in a comfortable setting keeps people coming back. "Musical events packaged with dinner are what we have found really attract people. We look at trends and keep track of our numbers so we know these events are very important to us."
The Cove has established itself as a great place for weddings, reunions and anniversaries. Wedding co-ordinator Maureen Price works magic, says Seamus. They can seat up to 120 for dinner.
Accommodations include 15 unique rooms and Jacuzzi suites, including some overlooking the Big Rideau Lake. There is a pool and docking for guests.
"We want to continue to be a centre of the community. People tell us this feels like home to them and they're very sentimental about it," Seamus says. "All of our staff help to keep it that way." The goal is to continue to strike the right balance with old and newly-found favourites to keep this century-plus landmark a happening place in the heart of the Rideau Lakes.
The Cove Country Inn is located at 2 Bedford Street in Westport. Learn more on their website and Facebook page, call 613 -273-3636; 1-888-COVEINN or send them an email . Check out the concert series at Blues on the Rideau .
Story and photo courtesy of the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office.