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Murder mysteries new on the menu

Staff writer

Country Lakes Café in Marion is preparing for its first murder mystery dinner, “Mystery on the Titanic.”

The dinners are intended to capitalize on and further enhance Marion’s growing status as a destination. With multiple antique shops, an art gallery, and a historic hotel in town and two lakes nearby, Marion is getting more out-of-town visitors than in the recent past, restaurant co-owner Barbara Smith said.

She hopes the murder mystery dinners will serve as a further attraction for people to visit Marion.

“That’s what I want, to bring something new and fun to Marion,” Smith said.

Rather than being spectators to dinner theater, guests will participate in the mysteries, much like a game of Clue without the board game.

“The guests are the actors,” she said.

The mystery will be accompanied by a multiple-course meal with fancier fare than Country Lakes Café can regularly offer, including prime rib, Smith said. Formal place settings and china will complete the restaurant’s transformation for the dinners.

“This won’t even look like Country Lakes,” she said.

Although the restaurant has space for up to 86 guests, each table will be its own scene. Smith said she thinks the dinners will be good for private parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas parties.

Because of the demands of the murder mystery dinners, the restaurant will close to the general public for the dinners, which Smith plans to have primarily Saturday evenings. She expects some of her regular customers will be disappointed to miss Saturday night rib dinners, so on weekends with the mystery dinners, ribs will be served Friday night.

Smith plans to have a mystery dinner each weekend through the end of the year. After the start of the new year, she expects the dinners to be a monthly event. A new mystery will rotate in every four or five weeks, she said.

As a “thank you” to the community, Country Lakes Café will premiere the murder mystery dinner, “Mystery on the Titanic,” at 6 p.m. Sunday at a discounted price. Smith needs to know how many people will attend in advance, so reservations will be required. Call (620) 382-2901 to reserve a spot or for more information.

Last modified Nov. 16, 2011

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