After more than 50 years serving meals to our guests at Branch's Seine River Lodge, we finally got around to creating our short order menu and opening up to the general public! We've named our pub "The Wanigan" and officially opened in October 2020 For those of you who don't know what a wanigan is, here's a brief description below.
If you have spent some time canoeing up north, you might have run into paddlers lugging around a heavy wooden box along for the ride. Oddly enough, the paddlers hoisted this box on their back, with a thick leather strap banded across their forehead to support the weight. Inside this mysterious box were plenty of camping treasures: pots, pans, lights, games, matches and more. This traditional piece of canoe gear is known as the wannigan or wanigan. Essentially, it is a wooden box that serves as a mini camp kitchen - storing cookware, food and goods on a canoe or snowsledding trip.
Plus, my father, Carl Branch, lugged a wanigan all around North America prospecting, and I'll always remember boating out to "the wanigan" on the Seine Chain while the log boom was still going on (yes, I'm that old). Jock Dickson always had a muffin or something for me!
So, given all that, it'd be pretty hard to call it anything else!
We've actually been serving food here at the camp since 1967 - but always just to reserved guests. This lodge, built in 2018, is the 4th different building that we've served meals out of. The room has a terrific view of Banning Lake. It's a cozy place to enjoy the view, summer storms and occasionally the northern lights. With the help of some great friends (as always) we built an awesome lakeside patio during the summer of 2020.
We also are available for private parties and meetings as well as on site and off site catering.
Don't forget that we're also a fishing lodge and Quetico canoe trip outfitter, and offer year 'round cabin rentals and packages!
Watch our Facebook page for weekly dinner specials or contact us for more information! Hope to see you soon!