The Lorain Lighthouse offers sunset dinners by Jackalope Lakeside. (Rona Proudfoot, Creative Commons)

Imagine dinner on the platform of a historic lighthouse, four courses with four wines as the sun sets over Lake Erie.

The Lorain Lighthouse Foundation, working with the Jackalope Lakeside restaurant, hosts the dinners Tuesday-Thursday from June 12 through Sept. 11 at the light, built in 1917 by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The white three-story lighthouse, located at the end of a long breakwater at the mouth of the Black River, boasts concrete-and-steel walls 10 inches thick, and the lantern room rises 51 feet above Lake Erie.

Dinner costs $130 per person, including tip. That’s $50 to the foundation for renovations and upkeep to the lighthouse; $50 for the restaurant for the food; $25 to the Lorain Port Authority for boat transportation to the lighthouse and $5 for the server.

Everything is hauled over by boat: the food, the tables, the table linens, the china plates, the silverware.

Reservations are required, with a minimum of eight and maximum of 18. Since you have to travel by boat, reservations weather dependent. Dinner is canceled if the waves are too rough.

Find more information here.

The foundation hosted the first dinners in 2015, with 143 guests. Last year, 261 people came, said foundation board member Carolyn Sipkovsky.

Two couples have gotten engaged. People have celebrated anniversaries, retirements, birthdays.

You start with a tour of the lighthouse and finish as the sun disappears beneath the water. Here’s a sample menu, each paired with a different wine:

  • First: salad
  • Second: Shrimp cocktail
  • Third: Slow-roasted Black Angus short rib, with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.
  • Fourth: Cheesecake

“They’re free to wander around as the sun sets,” Sipkovsky said. “Some people don’t want to go back. But we gotta go back.”

There’s also a Fourth of July picnic, served buffet style, with a maximum of 50 people. You can see the fireworks after dinner, which is $110.

Romance the Lake is a RocktheLake series brought to you by Peter & Co. Jewelers in Avon Lake.  Throughout 2018, we’ll bring you the most swoonworthy stories of love on the lake. Because Lake Erie not only rocks, it romances.