Friends, for those that have always wanted to know a bit of the history of Lake Burton in beautiful Rabun County, Georgia.  The dam was closed in December of 1919 and quickly filled in 1920.  The Tallulah River is the main inflowing and outflowing tributary.  The Lake covers 2,774 acres, has 62 miles of shoreline, and holds five billion cubic feet of the freshest, cleanest water around.  The fish species of Lake Burton are large and small mouth bass, spot bass, brown trout, rainbow trout and many variants of pan fish.  It is the highest in elevation and the largest of Georgia Power’s lakes in North Georgia.  The town of Burton, which was flooded in the formation of the lake, was named after local prominent citizen Jeremiah Burton and was situated along the main road from Clayton to the Nacoochee Valley (Helen).  While Lake Burton, and the other Georgia Power lakes were originally developed to provide hydroelectricity for Atlanta as the largest city in Georgia, it now only generates electricity during peak seasons.

This time of year around the lake the flower gardens are starting to emerge.  The Dogwoods and the Azaleas are in full bloom.  Hostas and early perennials are waking up, as well as the gardeners are, making many trips to Home Depot and local nurseries to spruce up and fill in those gardens.  The sentimental gardener is always looking for that new plant to set things off or that old favorite that reminds us of the gardens in our youth.  The ardent gardener pushes the zone boundaries and the light levels to achieve the desired look.  The alluring moment of Zen occurs when your flowers are popping , the chardonnay is chilled, and the bugs haven’t appeared just yet… ahhhh!

The moment of Zen in the kitchen?  When the business levels increase, new menus come to life, new concepts and kitchens take flight to high expectations.  Dinner menus are developing with many local ingredients and many fresh fish options.  The Kentucky Derby party and all of the Mother’s Day weekend festivities are indication of the beginning of all of the fun times just around the corner.  The Overlook, with its own kitchen now, is set to serve gourmet pizzas, wings, burgers and fresh salads.  Craft beer and a crisp white wine to toast the everlasting sunset…all with the full view of Lake Burton and the cool mountain air! Trivia night will be back on Tuesdays and will again be a great time for family and friends.

My staff I are looking forward to serving you and helping to create your own Zen experiences in our many dining outlets!

Chef Mark Wilkins

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