It all started with a little café and grocery store. After the little café became a Greyhound Bus stop, business began to pick up and the Overlook Restaurant was named by the locals and thus born. Since opening as a restaurant in 1948, the Overlook has been known for its breathtaking view of the “Horseshow Bend” area of the Ohio River. Just off of Indiana West State Road 62, the Overlook Restaurant offers not only exceptional food, but an exceptional view. Combine the location, with their picturesque charm and now, the Overlook is seen as one of the go-to places in Leavenworth, Indiana.
“Our uniqueness is the view of the river – the view is unmatched. Our food is great, so we have that combination of a draw of the view, but we keep people coming back because of the food,” said manager, Chris Bebee. “We are kind of in the middle of nowhere, but people know about the view and still come out,” said Bebee. “It’s great that we can have such a flourishing business this far out from Evansville or Louisville. People call every weekend and want to know when we’re open.”
Bebee has been working as a manager for the Overlook Restaurant for a year and a half, and says that when he first started working for the owners, Karen and Roger Haverstock, he was surprised by the overall work family environment.
“When I first started working here, the thing I remember the most is Karen had come to visit me at my house one day. She was concerned because I had some health issues at the time, and that concern really pulled me in and touched my heart,” said Bebee.
Back in 2010 the Overlook was facing a serious dilemma. The previous owners, Doug and Josie Breeden, were looking to sell the business. Karen and Roger, stepped up to the plate and decided to buy the restaurant.
“Karen and Roger are from Marengo, and their kids went to high school around here – so they knew of this place for a long time. I really think their sense of community was probably a deciding factor,” said Bebee.
Karen and Roger since have made some simple changes to the restaurant to bring in business, but also kept many things the same for life long customers.
“We tried to keep things that we knew people came back for,” said Karen, “but we also wanted to add in things that would bring in a younger crowd.”
Along with those changes came new menu items, new specials, and new ideas for the future.
“If you have been coming here for a while, you know that our restaurant and deck area are separate. They have had a separate menu – but this summer we are going to combine the two and start serving some of our food on the deck,” said Bebee, “We want to add this in slowly to be sure that it is still our quality good food, coming out hot and fresh.”
The Overlook is also well known for their pan fried chicken livers, meatloaf, and specialty pastas. One of their best sellers is the fried chicken, which they cook fresh to order for each customer.
“This place is so special to me. I remember coming here when I was younger and enjoying their food with my family. My favorite item on the menu has got to be the fried chicken, it still tastes the same as it did back then, so it brings back memories for me,” said customer, Janice Coffman.
Since the Overlook Restaurant has been open since 1948, it is considered to be historical to many of the customers. However, to keep new customers coming in Bebee says that new items may be added to the menu, but they will always keep the customer favorites.
“People have a certain expectation. We change things to keep fresh, and update the menu. However, on the other hand we want to keep those signature items on the menu, because we are known for those. We’ve got a long history, we want to pay respect to that,” said Bebee.
The Overlook Restaurant is open Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. You can contact the Overlook directly over telephone, (812) 739-4264, or through their Facebook page. Physical address is: 1153 West State Road 62 Leavenworth, IN 47137.