South county cantina opens |

South county cantina opens

by Jonni Hill

Topaz Lake offers a new venue for family dining with the opening of the Iron Horse Cantina in mid-March. Situated on the east side of Highway 395, the Cantina sits high on the hill overlooking Topaz Lake and the Antelope Valley.

Owner, Pete Karkos and his relief cook, Topaz Ranch Estates resident Johnathan Spears, offer a simple menu.

Hamburgers are featured on the menu, complimented with a choice of homemade fries, fresh from-the-oven corn bread or coleslaw. Other choices include homemade chili, hot wings, chips and salsa or a bay shrimp cocktail as well as steak, grilled chicken or tender pulled pork sandwiches and a garden burger for the vegetarian at heart, or a Caesar salad with a variety of extra toppings. Karkos also offers a large selection of domestic and imported beers and wines.

Karkos, who moved to the Holbrook Highlands two years ago from Southern California, has been in the restaurant business for more than a decade. He owned a restaurant called Out-take Café in Studio City, located in the heart of Los Angeles, for more than seven years, serving what he called a French/Asia fusion.

“I looked for one or two years for the perfect place to settle down,” he said. “And then I found this place at Topaz Lake.”

The interior bar and the small dining area in the rear of the building, have a fresh new look and modern design, from the renovations Karkos has completed. Large windows in the bar area offer a view of the lake and Sweetwater range beyond.

With summertime approaching, umbrella-covered bench seated tables are near the entrance and the relaxing sounds of a fountain on the shaded nearby patio. Outdoor bar-type seating is available on the southern deck over looking the lake, above two gazebos and a lawn-covered area, complete with a horseshoe pit for a little recreation after your meal.

The building was once a liquor store/deli owned by Joe Scalise, the owner of Topaz Joe’s and the Nevada Trading Company in Topaz Ranch Estates.

Restaurant hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and open seven days a week. During the summer months Karkos is considering a small breakfast menu and extending his hours, opening at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Iron Horse Cantina is located at 1875 Highway 395 South between Holbrook Junction and the California state line. For more information call 266-9626.