Small business spotlight: Lake of the Ozarks snack shop and boat rental will bring back hugely popular restaurant

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — A new Lake of the Ozarks boat rental is taking the area by storm, offering unique rentals and free ice cream — and will soon reopen a once-popular lakeside restaurant.

Scooters offers 14 VX cruiser-style wave runners for lake enthusiasts to rent. The wave runners are equipped with Bluetooth speakers and a patented throttle control, allowing riders to shift from front to back with a simple press of the throttle. Scooters provides life jackets for riders and an additional option to rent inner tubes.

The rental company also added a Tritoon Crest 240, which features a 250 horsepower Suzuki outboard motor, SeaStar power steering, dual-battery electrical system and a 48-gallon fuel tank.

Scooter owners Tom and Beth Randall moved from Iowa to the lake in search of a new business venture.

“We found the whole area to be appealing,” Beth said. “We couldn’t say no to the property and this place. We felt drawn to her.

The couple and their teenage daughters decided to make Scooters the best rental company in Lake of the Ozarks. The family has hired executive chef Robin Stotter to help bring back the legacy of the immensely popular restaurant “The Duck”, which is attached to Scooters.

“We’re going to embrace the restaurant that was there for 19 years and closed,” Stotter told The Heartlander. “They had a great race, but we are going to modernize a bit. Right now we’re tearing up the kitchen. Everyone comes and hires wave runners to see what’s going on, and they want food.

The restaurant’s last owners have been in contact with Stotter, and he says he plans to keep duck-related items on the menu as a tribute. The restaurant will serve sea bass, salmon, pickerel, fresh pasta and an abundance of seafood. Stotter also says he will lead a “zero waste” kitchen with sustainable local foods.

Keeping “The Duck” as the establishment’s namesake, the Randall family says that once it opens, restaurant patrons will recognize the familiar remnants of the last two Duck restaurants that operated there.

Beth told The Heartlander that she and her husband intended to designate a casual lakeside spot called “The Lucky Duck,” which was the restaurant’s first name.

Customers who purchase gas or rentals from Scooters will receive free Dole soft serve ice cream with their purchase.

“Who doesn’t want a free ice cream cone?” Beth asked rhetorically. “If people are here all week, they come back here all day and fill up their gas tanks so they can send their kids.”

The new business got its name when the youngest daughter in the family suggested they name it after their pet turtle, Scooter. Although the family pet doesn’t live inside the store, the Randalls have a 25-year-old red-eared turtle named Jazzy who greets customers from her 120-gallon tank in the store.

In addition to rentals and free ice cream, Scooters also sells snacks and drinks. Visit his website here for more information.

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