Heavy winter storms turned this New York restaurant into an ice castle

While snow and waves off Lake Erie blanketed Hoak's Lakeshore, the owners said the restaurant was not damaged.

In a scene ripped straight from Disney’s “Frozen,” Christmas weekend storms turned one restaurant near Buffalo, New York, into an ice castle.

The owners of Hoak’s Lakeshore Restaurant in Hamburg said that massive waves crashing down from Lake Erie — coupled with heavy snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — were to blame for the restaurant’s frosty appearance. 

The massive storm hit Western New York hard, shuttering Buffalo’s airport, leaving some stranded in their cars for days, and killing at least 34 people, the Associated Press reported

Photos on Hoak’s Lakeshore’s Facebook page show a thick blanket of frost and countless icicles dangling from every surface. The owners said they look to have a natural thaw by the end of the week. 

Aileen Hoak-Lange, who runs the third-generation business with her brother, Kevin Hoak, told Buffalo Business First that the restaurant didn’t incur any damage during the blizzard, inside or out.


The owners have learned to prepare for storms by putting up plywood boards across the lower windows, the news outlet reported.

“The water is just so incredibly powerful,” Hoak-Lange told Buffalo Business First. “Never underestimate the power of the wind and water. There’s always days where you just don’t feel like putting up the boards. It’s cold out, and you ask, is it necessary? But don’t second guess it.”

Owner Kevin Hoak told CBS New York that while nothing inside appeared to be damaged, he was concerned about the building’s foundation.

“I guess we won’t know until it melts. It’s pretty heavy. That’s what I’m nervous about,” he said. “But nothing broke. No windows broke. No leaks. And we just got new floor put in, and none of that was touched.”

By Tuesday, the restaurant announced it would open for business as usual — with a word of caution about icy roads.


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