Dinner at the Lake: Papa Boo’s

Papa Boo's lakeside restaurant

As a child, my husband’s family spent a considerable amount of time boating at Buckeye Lake. Surrounded by summer cottages, the lake has a small town appeal.

Papa Boo's on Buckeye Lake includes concert venue and dinner at the lake.
Papa Boo’s on Buckeye Lake in Thornville, Ohio.

Buckeye Lake

So when we recently found ourselves in the area, we decided we’d try dinner at the lake and immediately settled on one of his family’s old favorites. It was a great place for burgers, situated right on the water with dock access.  And sadly, when we pulled up it looked to have recently closed. Perhaps it was a casualty of the coronavirus.  Hence it was time for us to find someplace new.

Papa Boo's in Thornville, Ohio.
The front of Papa Boo’s – a great spot for dinner at the lake. Entrance is to the right.

Papa Boo’s

We had heard of Papa Boo’s, which was also on the lake, but had never visited.  I was a little reluctant to head there due to COVID because the bar/restaurant is known for hosting a crowd. Despite the concern, we decided to give it a go anyway.

Menus from Papa Boo's welcome guests to dinner at the lake.
I say dinner at the lake – Papa Boo’s says “Welcome to the party at the lake.”

Immediately I could see I had no need to worry. It was early in the evening and, though it was busy, the crowd was certainly manageable. All of the staff were wearing masks, the tables were all outside along the lake, and they were spaced out.
The weather was warm and there was a slight breeze from the lake. I immediately relaxed. 

Zucchini fries at Papa Boo's, Thornville, Ohio.
Zucchini fries and Boo sauce – delicious.

Dinner at the Lake

We started out with some zucchini fries served with “Boo sauce,” which had a horseradish component to it. We really enjoyed the fries and the sauce was delicious. As a matter of fact, this may be my new favorite way to eat zucchini.

While my husband had pop with his dinner, I decided on a strawberry daiquiri, after all I wasn’t driving. 

Italian sub at with lettuce, tomatoes and peppers.
Yum! Italian sub – perfect for dinner at the lake!

The menu was extensive and there were several items I’d like to try on another visit. But for today, I settled on an Italian sub. It just sounded good to me. I wasn’t disappointed. Though it was just a simple sub, they did a good job with it. The bread was toasted and it was loaded down with meat and veggies. 

Lakeside or Dockside Service

After dinner we poked around a bit and asked a few questions. In the summer they often have live music on the stage. No word if they were continuing that during COVID restrictions, but it was a Friday evening and the stage was empty. 

Bar at Papa Boo's on Buckeye Lake in Ohio
The bar was pretty deserted. With COVID restrictions pretty much everyone was eating outside.

And yes, they do have dockside service. As you know from our boat rental adventure, we don’t own a boat but enjoy the water. I didn’t tell hubby, but I thought it would be so cool to pull up to the dock and have someone take my order and serve me my food right there on the boat. I definitely didn’t tell him. That would’ve provided him the wiggle room he needed to revisit the great boat debate. 

The view of Buckeye Lake from Papa Boo's bar in Thornville, Ohio.
The view from the bar out over the deck. Look at all those boaters getting dockside service! Jealous.

If you’re in the area I highly recommend Papa Boo’s. There’s a large variety of food available, so your whole party can find something. Additionally, they offer Cristy’s pizza, which is one of my favorite local chains.

The food was served quickly, was plentiful and tasty. Our waiter and the other employees we spoke with were very friendly and welcoming. Beyond all that, it’s just a nice environment to experience dinner at the lake.

If you’re in the area and would love to have dinner at the lake, give Papa Boo’s a try. We did and we will definitely be back! I’m not sure why we didn’t try it sooner.

And if you have a boat? Do dockside service and send me a picture! I can live out my boat dreams through you.

Looking for further food adventures in the Buckeye State? Check out our restaurant reviews.