Bostwick Lake Inn

    Business Stats

  • Beautiful waterfront location on Bostwick Lake in Rockford
  • Began as beach house and pavilion in 1910
  • Served as an unofficial Post Office during winters in 1940s
  • Became part of the Gilmore Collection in 2012
  • Brett Powis serves as General Manager
  • Bartender Melissa Slachter named best bartender in Flavor 616/Drink GR Poll, September 2013
  • Guests can float their boats right up to the dock and dine on the deck
  • BLI features local musicians on the deck during summer months
  • Owner Greg Gilmore’s favorite foods are “morel mushrooms, garlic, truffles, olives, cheeses and, above all, pizza with the aforementioned on it.”

Bostwick Lake Inn

As soon as you arrive by car, boat or foot, you’re charmed by the lakefront setting of the Bostwick Lake Inn. Once you come inside or take a seat on the deck, you’re warmly greeted and instantly comfortable. Bostwick Lake Inn or as the local folks call it, the BLI, is just that kind of place. It’s got a relaxed, neighborhood feel, casual menu, and friendly, efficient staff. In fact, three out of four of owner Greg Gilmore’s children work at BLI. What more could you want? How ‘bout a store? Finn’s Shore Store boasts cookies, wine, beach supplies, and other great stuff.

Staying true to his practice of renovating historic buildings, Greg Gilmore added Bostwick Lake Inn to the collection in 2012. In 1927, the original 1910 beach house was replaced by Bert’s Lakeside Place and operated as a soda fountain/bathhouse/restaurant and later, as a tavern. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1934, Bert’s became Bostwick Lake Inn and was one of the first area taverns to receive a liquor license. In 1954, Earnest Gates purchased and operated it with the Pullen family for decades. In 1993, Jim Isabell renovated the inn, and ran it for 15 years before selling.

Greg Gilmore’s philosophy is reflected in all of his restaurants, including his newest addition. As Greg says, “I love the hospitality business because I love bringing people together and being a part of the community. I truly love taking care of people and providing them with a quality hospitality experience in a unique environment.”

Along with its spectacular setting and neighborhood feel, BLI is quickly earning a reputation for flavorful gluten-free options, excellent Great Lakes perch, bountiful burgers, and delicious deck oven pizzas.

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