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A new crew behind Toronto’s northern marina

New destination with re-opening of marina, new restaurant at the city's north end

A NEW CREW ON DECK — The marina at Toronto's north end has new ownership, with Helen Smith and Kierra McClain of Anchors Aweigh, overseeing a new restaurant and its docks and making plans for future additions. Many staff members and supporters joined the pair to mark its grand opening Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony conducted by the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization. -- Warren Scott

TORONTO — Whether they would like to take an exhilarating ride on the Ohio River or just want to sit back and enjoy its scenic beauty while enjoying a tasty meal, area residents have a new destination with the re-opening of the marina and a new restaurant at the city’s north end.

Helen Smith and Kierra McClain of Anchors Aweigh Resort have teamed to reopen the marina at 1200 North River Ave. and launch a new restaurant at the site.

The pair said with the help of about a dozen staff members and others, they have been restoring the docks, including installing new electrical connections; and cleaning the restaurant from top to bottom and putting in new landscaping.

They noted the docks can accommodate 50 to 60 boats and conveniently located just a few blocks from the city’s north exit from state Route 7.

Open from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, the restaurant offers assorted sandwiches and salads, boneless or bone-in wings and appetizers and an affordable children’s menu.

Smith said they take great pride in their made to order burgers, home-made sauces and fresh cut fries.

There is seating inside or outdoors, the latter perfect for taking in some fresh air and a view of the river.

They plan to open the bar later this year and expand the restaurant’s hours and menu to include breakfast.

Smith and McClain also are awaiting approval from the state Department of Agriculture to establish camping sites with utility hookups and build cabins near the marina.

Until then, they have been working to become an active part of the community.

Anchors Aweigh recently hosted a guest waiter night with Toronto High School students raising more than $530 for their school’s football team.

A regular feature at the marina is a dunk tank that has helped to raise funds for many area school groups.

Smith and McClain said they also are planning various special events, including a car show on July 1 and possibly, a Meet the Team Day in which local athletes may compete in eating contests.

A native of Empire, Smith said she honed leadership skills while organizing car shows with her father and various fundraisers as a student.

She and McClain, a Richmond native, formed a close friendship as classmates at Edison High School, from which they graduated in 2019.

The venture received a warm welcome from the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization, which conducted a ribbon cutting involving many supporters.

The ceremony was part of a grand opening that also included face painting, a snow cone booth and of course, the dunk tank.

For information about the marina and restaurant, visit Anchors Aweigh Resort’s Facebook page or e-mail anchorsaweighresort@gmail.com.

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