End of an era: Dawn's Country Kitchen sells to new owner

Hounds Hollow Bakery & Buffet to open soon at location

IRONS/LUTHER — As one chapter ends, a new one begins. For a little more than a decade, Dawn Martin has been serving up great home cooking at what used to be Bob's Country Kitchen, renamed Dawn’s Country Kitchen. 

Last week, Martin announced the business, at 10555 N. Twin Creek Road, in Irons, sold and will soon be home to Hounds Hollow Bakery & Buffet. 

"We started the business on Oct. 1, 2011," Martin recalled. "It was a turnkey operation, and we bought it from the previous owner Bob Wyckoff"s brother and sister.”

Martin said she and her husband, Rich Martin, Lake County sheriff, still lived in Portage when they bought the business.  

“We would commute back and forth on weekends to operate the restaurant," she said. "We came here full time in 2014, so we commuted three years. We had a rental house part time and turned it into a vacation home."

For the first couple of years, they served a Friday fish fry and breakfast buffet on the weekends, Martin said, and found the breakfast buffet was more popular, so they just served breakfast from then on. 

"We served fresh eggs (shelled eggs) to scramble," she explained. "We cooked bacon and sausage daily, made homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, pancakes and French toast. But the real eye catcher — the real reason people came — was for the cinnamon rolls." 

Martin said that during the years of operation, she got to meet people from all over, not just throughout the county, but throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky and other places. 

She also used the building for the Concealed Pistol License classes she teaches and Federal Firearm Licensed trading and selling of firearms. She will still do the CPL classes and FFL operations, but they will be relocated, she said. Anyone interested can check out Trailside CCW/CPL Classes on Facebook to keep up with further updates.

The new business, which will open sometime this month, will specialize in bakery items, as well as serving breakfast, with the same hours and same options as Dawn’s Country Kitchen, on the weekend. They will also manage the rental house. 

"We would really appreciate it if friends and customers give the same encouragement and support to the new owners that they gave us," Martin said. "I am really going to miss the restaurant like crazy, and miss the helpers. We will keep in touch, but it is time to move on to a new adventure.

"Owning and running the restaurant was one of our first experiences in Lake County," she said. "It's what made us really fall in love with the county and want to be here full time. The new owners, a husband and wife team, are very excited just like Rich and I were. We wish them nothing but the very best, and I let them know they can reach out any time. This has been their dream like it was ours."

Progress of the new restaurant can be followed on the Hounds Hollow Bakery & Buffet Facebook page . Martin encourages folks to like and share the page.