Lakeside Cafe begins summer serving season

RANGELY — The Lakeside Cafe has been a fixture at Kenney Reservoir for years. But the mother-daughter team running it this year is new.
Pauline McPhail and her younger daughter, Traci Files, are the new operators of the cafe. They have a two-year lease for the cafe from the water district.
“We’ve not been in the restaurant business,” said McPhail, who has lived in the Rangely area for 56 years. “We just thought it would be fun.”
Not that they don’t have experience in the food business. McPhail worked in the cafeteria at the Rangely District Hospital for nearly 20 years. And Files worked at a local drive-in when she was in high school.
The Lakeside opened for the season on Father’s Day.
“The people are fun,” Files said. “We have a lot of repeat customers.”
Even though they have been open for business only a couple of weeks, things have been going well, McPhail said.
“Different people just take it and do it for the summer,” she said of operating the cafe.
Files, who grew up in Rangely, returned last November from Gypsum. She had been away for 30 years.
“This (running the cafe) came up after that,” she said. “It’s been good.”
On Saturday, while Files made a run to the store for supplies, McPhail and her granddaughter Amber Velasquez of Trinidad and her great-granddaughter Jordan, 10, also of Trinidad, helped out in the kitchen.
“It’s a family thing,” McPhail said.
The cafe serves burgers, hot dogs, Navajo tacos, steak sandwiches and ice cream. “Their Navajo tacos are the No. 1 going thing,” Amber Velasquez said.
Lakeside is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Its months of operation are typically May or June through about September.
The cafe has a lot of repeat customers. “We’ve had three couples who have been here every night since we opened, so the food must be pretty good,” McPhail said. “When you know everybody, it’s kind of fun.”