By Allie Brawley
Prescription Oxygen owners, Ron and Sara Gordon, didn’t think they’d ever own a restaurant. But when friends who formerly owned the Cozy Corners Tavern & Grill in Barbeau were ready to sell, the Gordons immediately had a vision of what it could be if they made it their own. In May 2021, they became the new owners and transformed the Cozy into a nautical themed destination for drinks, fresh fish, burgers, breakfast skillets and more. Wildlife trophies from the former owners were replaced by life rings and ropes from freighters that highlighted a mural of the Arthur Anderson. The Gordons wanted to provide a full service atmosphere through the decor service, menu and scenery of the St. Mary’s River.
"We were patrons here for 10 years, so when the opportunity
presented itself, we said, ‘let’s give it a go!’” Ron recalls. “It was kind of the perfect storm in how it came together – people were eager to go out to eat and we opened under new ownership.”
Both Ron and Sara worked in multiple restaurant role capacities for the first several months. Sara called upon her history in the restaurant business since her great-grandmother owned Evan’s Restaurant in Brimley. Despite diving headfirst into the restaurant business, they managed to swim with the tide.
One night, friends Tim and Lindsay Ellis planned to meet the Gordons for dinner. Ron commented casually, “are you going to mosey to the Cozy?” The friends lit up with the expression which now serves as a popular slogan and social media hashtag for the Cozy Corners.
Based at the crossroads of 15 Mile and Scenic Drive in Barbeau, visitors to the Cozy come by car, boat, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. For Barbeau residents, moseying down to the Cozy is a weekly routine. They’re aiming to enhance winter recreation by working on a snowmobile trail to make Barbeau a year-round destination.
The Gordons recognize it takes an entire team for the Cozy to run smoothly, particularly as they run their other business and manage vacation rentals in Barbeau.
"We are very blessed to have the staff we have," Ron said proudly.
Sara added how talented their core group of cooks are with creating menu options. “We send them to food shows and they come back with fantastic ideas.”
In addition to a friendly and dedicated staff, the Gordons are most proud of the improvements to the outdoor area. They removed a beach volleyball court in favor of expanding outdoor seating. Their boating patrons were delighted to benefit from dock improvements that yields eight slips and soon will have power. The dock work was supported by a volunteer effort from Barbeau neighbors.
Dafter residents Tom and Ashley Allison are among many locals who regularly mosey to the Cozy by truck, boat or side-by-side with their daughters, Kate and Harper. Space is very important since Harper is medically compromised and cannot sit in a high chair or booster seat, so room for their large stroller is especially helpful when dining out.
"They have always been very kind to us," said Ashley. Even before the Gordons were the owners, they were very helpful with respiratory care for Harper by providing emergency oxygen tanks when needed. “They’ve always been part of our life, but now so even more.”
Visitors who mosey to the Cozy will find a variety of menu options from local fish entrees to venison mac. Cozy breakfast features include nautically named entrees like the “loaded freighter, captain’s choice” or “late for the ferry,” a relatable term for nearby Sugar Island and Neebish Island residents. While food may be the primary reason to visit the Cozy, it’s the service and atmosphere that keeps locals coming back.
"They're really welcoming and accommodating to us - the whole staff is super friendly,” said Ashley. “The best part about it is that it’s family – you walk in and everyone knows you. They have turned the Cozy into something amazing!”
Follow Cozy Corners Barbeau on Facebook or visit cozycornersrestaurant.com.