While passing through Lake George, you will see a mini strip mall of sorts on the opposite side of the lake from U.S. Highway 24. The sign bears the name of Bla Bla Blah Caffe, as well as the other two occupants, Tumbling Trout Fly Shop and Stevens Carpet Plus. The little café is nestled in the middle, and its owner, Rosario Lombardi, owns the building as well.
Bla Bla Blah Caffe is a curious name and is certainly not a reflection of the food, the owner, or the establishment itself. Lombardi chuckled as he told that he was among family and friends and everyone was discussing what to call the café. “And talking and talking and you know, just bla, bla, blah and that’s how I named it,” he said smiling.
Lombardi runs the establishment alone for the most part, except he did get a chef to come in once in a while, but he said he could really use more help, especially a barista. Several have asked him to keep longer hours on a daily basis and longer during the year but business has been brisk and in order to be open longer, he needs help. He said twice this summer he entertained thirty-,plus Boy Scouts at once along with his normal clientele.
Lombardi, a native of Palermo, Sicily, came to the United States in 1970 and in 1978 completed the Naturalization process and became a citizen of the United States. He lived in Chicago for twenty years and owned and operated a hair salon in downtown Chicago. His stepson attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, which introduced him to Colorado and Park County. He eventually purchased property in Guffey.
Lombardi left Chicago and moved to Marco Island, Fla., where he opened another salon for thirteen years, and then moved inland to Naples, Fla., and another salon, which he sold and moved to Colorado. He noticed the building on Highway 24 was for sale, and he sold the property in Guffey and purchased it. The building itself was built in 1947 and was previously home to the Ye Olde Lake George Inn, a restaurant, bar, and dance hall.
The Ye Olde Lake George Inn is steeped in history and was quite a mainstay in its day. The town of Lake George even referred to the Inn as “our little burg.” It was moved to its present location in what appears to be a way to be more accessible to travelers on Highway 24.
Today we have another restaurant, small, quaint, and welcoming, different than its predecessor, but making its mark on Lake George today.
“I liked to cook, and I thought a coffee house and restaurant would be a good thing for my retirement,” he said chuckling.
Currently the café is open May through October, Tuesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a nice little gathering place for family and friends, and Lombardi enjoys meeting the visitors who pass through. “I’ve even had people who used to work here or dine here stop in and just sit and enjoy the nostalgia,” Lombardi said. So, stop in, have a bite to eat, grab an expresso and enjoy some local bla bla.