A new cafe for Lake Mohawk

| 21 Sep 2016 | 10:40

By Rose Sgarlato
— Lake Mohawk was waiting with open arms for Lake House Café, the latest reincarnation of the original Plaza Deli in White Deer Plaza. Owners Albie and Ailbhe Parisella opened their doors on June 30.
The space has had many lives: Plaza Deli, PJ’s Deli & Dog House and more recently Bologna Deli & Café. The Plaza Deli was probably one of the first food establishments in the space and had the longest shelf life with a few different owners over the years. Most popular for breakfast, the same group of people could be seen there every morning catching up over eggs and coffee.
Eventually the space turned hands and names a few times and remained vacant for over a year before the Parisellas stepped in. The couple moved to Lake Mohawk two years ago and live walking distance from their new business.
“My wife and I fell in love with the area and Lake Mohawk. We would walk down to the Plaza, but there was never anywhere to get a coffee or a quick bite,” said Albie Parisella.
Parisella, a digital consultant was looking to do something different. His wife, Ailbhe, a native of Ireland came to America 10 years ago and has been working in the restaurant industry in many different roles. At Lake House Café, she can be found expediting in the kitchen as well as behind the counter.
“I am front of the house and the face of the place,” said Ailbhe Parisella. “I want to make sure the quality and presentation is at the highest level.”
Opening everyday at 6 am with full breakfast as well as bagels, muffins and smoothies to go, Albie Parisella wanted to create a comfortable atmosphere.
“I wanted to open up something that would go with the town that serves casual, good food with a different vibe then what else is around here,” he said.
He modeled and built Lake House Café as an extension of his home using reclaimed wood and doing all the labor himself. The effect can be seen in the pecky cypress walls and hand made wooden flag that looks like it can be hanging in an art gallery.
“The hardwood floors are from white and red oak trees I cut down on my property, and I gave them a unique finish to look vintage,” said Albie Parisella.
Lunch is also served at Lake House Café with a selection of salads, sandwiches, and the café part stays open until 8 pm for coffee, desserts and drinks. Take-out is always available.
“We are trying to bring a home quality to the food. We may offer the same as the deli up the street, but we put a homey touch on it like the popular pan-fried chicken sandwich,” he said.
And it’s a family affair with Albie’s sisters in the kitchen who he and his wife consider great cooks. Albie’s mother Sylvia, age 84, passed away in March while he was building the place. He keeps a tiny photo of her on the corner of his flag mural.
“ We were all very close to her. She is an inspiration to us and being here is therapy to my sisters.”
The Parisellas are thrilled with the reception they have received and welcome feedback from customers. Going forward, they are planning to offer home-style dinners. And they envision trivia nights, poetry readings and maybe live music in the near future.
A grand opening celebration is on Friday, Sept.23.
Lake House Café, 8 White Deer Plaza, Lake Mohawk is open seven days a week. Tel.862-219-9804. A website www.lakehouse.cafe will be live soon.