Aerial view of Pickle Bill’s Lobster House in Grand River (photo courtesy of Pickle Bill’s Lobster House)
Food + Drink

Visit the Legendary Pickle Bill’s Lobster House in Grand River

This landmark spot along the Grand River serves up a side of kitsch with its popular lineup of seafood, all-you-can-eat options and famous fried pickles.

Step inside Pickle Bill’s Lobster House, look in any direction and you’ll be overwhelmed by the dozens of knickknacks and tchotchkes that fill the space, most of which were collected by the restaurant’s late founder, Jerry Powell. There’s a realistic-looking alligator and taxidermized forest critters in a nature tableau, while overhead, a tightrope walker hangs suspended next to an 8-foot-long shark.

“My husband was a great collector,” says Marianne Powell, Jerry’s wife and owner of the Lake County restaurant. “Everywhere we went, he always collected something as we traveled. And we also had a lot of customers that would either donate or want to sell things that they had.”

Not only is the restaurant along the Grand River a joy to walk through and explore, but it has a menu that matches that fun and eclectic atmosphere. The food ranges from soups and salads to seafood platters and seasonal specials like red snapper, but the eatery’s claim to fame is its all-you-can-eat dishes, which range from fried scallops to prime rib. Diners can even opt for all-you-can-eat whole Maine lobster, which goes for $199.99.

“We put that on as a kind of … kitschy thing on the menu that people would just laugh about and think is funny,” Powell says. “Well, last week we sold seven or eight all-you-can-eat lobster.”

Lobster and corn at Pickle Bill’s Lobster House in Grand River (photo by KC Media)

Menu highlights here include the ever-popular Alaskan snow crab (which can also be ordered all-you-can-eat-style), Lake Erie perch and walleye, fried dough with honey cinnamon butter and, of course, Pickle Bill’s famous fried pickles, which come with a side of ranch and Cleveland Ketchup Co.’s garlic dill ketchup.

Pickle Bill’s Lobster House has a seating capacity of nearly 700 people across its eight dining spaces, a far cry from when it opened in the village of Grand River in 1982 and only had seating for about 30. (The restaurant started in The Flats in Cleveland before moving east to Lake County 15 years later.)

On the main floor, visitors can dine on the covered patio or in the large interior space. During the summer, a dockside barge is brought out to provide additional seating. On the second floor, diners will find the tiki lounge and accompanying rooftop bar, each fitted with a stage for live performances throughout the summer.

“Being on the water is such a draw for people,” Powell says. “And the location [is] conducive to having boats pull up. … We even had somebody come by seaplane one time.” 

101 River St., Grand River 44045, 800/352-6343,