The Story of The Up North Lodge

It all began back in the early 1960’s when Gretchen & Emil Gimese built a little red cabin called The Red Horse Ranch on Big Shag Lake. They served hot chocolate and hot dogs to the local kids who would come out to go horseback riding. In 1973, the Gimeses built a bigger building that housed 13 hotel rooms, a restaurant and a tavern. After Emil passed on, Gretchen ran it by herself until she sold it to enjoy retirement. On April 23, 1998, Scott & Sally Searle bought The Red Horse Ranch and renamed it The Up North Lodge and refurbished the entire building. Many folks from the area shared many good times and happy moments of their lives there.

Tragically, on June 9, 2005 a fire completely destroyed the structure. After many sleepless nights, Scott & Sally knew they couldn’t let the fire take away everything they had worked so hard for. Along with new owners Larry & Eunice Bertocchi, Roy Meni, Vince & Mona Jean Rose, and Cheryl Wootton, The Up North Lodge gained new life. A new location was decided on at the corner of County Rd 557 and Serenity Drive and in July 2005 the rebuild began.

On the first day of spring, June 21, 2006 The Up North Lodge reopened to the public. The tavern has a custom made bar and although the menu has changed slightly, we still serve our “almost” world famous BBQ ribs every day! We’d like to welcome all of you who come through our doors, whether it’s to enjoy a wonderful dinner, have a nice cocktail or come by for a game of pool and warm up by the fireplace.