Each Monday, we'll blog about our members! Our Member Monday posts will feature stories, pictures and ideas from the members that make up St. Joe Today.
Photo Cred: Joshua Nowicki
The Lakehouse Restaurant sits high on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Just a few minutes outside of downtown St. Joseph, the restaurant’s patio stretches towards the sunset. Chicago can even be spotted on a good night!
The view from LakeHouse Restaurant
The building at 3029 Lakeshore Drive has a varied history. Built as The Colby Mansion (with "Colby Motors" where the hotel now stands), the space also housed the Mansion Grill, a Mexican restaurant, and survived a few more incarnations before the Bleich family created The Lakehouse as we now know it.
The Bleich family bought the property in 1993, and leased the restaurant. When Cozumel Mexican Restaurant vacated in 2014, the Bleich family had just a few months before the summer season was set to begin. They were familiar with the hospitality industry (they own the neighboring hotel), but had little restaurant experience. Construction began, and they jumped in headfirst.
The green floral carpet was torn out, and the colors returned to a "beachy" theme.
The fireplace in the main dining room had stone laid, and the garish colors removed.
The stairs before and after; though the colors were exciting, it didn't quite fit the "Lakehouse" vibe!
The north dining room saw murals be replaced with area photography celebrating the nautical history and present of St. Joe. Amy says she and her mother spent hours debating each photo; the care shows! Everything is thoughtful, well-placed, and brings the lake even closer!
You'll see Amy and her parents at the restaurant most days; this is a picture from the opening in May 2014!
Restaurant opening and a birthday?! This family knows how to have a good time...
After a whirlwind construction, the LakeHouse opened in May of 2014. The Bleich family started serving, and it was all hands on deck. The LakeHouse is celebrating their 2 year anniversary with a “Shake It On The Lake” event on May 19th! You can find details here.
During the building’s tenure as the Mansion Grill, there were multiple weddings and other special events hosted. Amy speaks fondly of these returning guests; she says they are glad it’s being restored to a “lakehouse”, as it was built to be. The stateliness of the old manor permeates the restaurant. There are multiple fireplaces, beautiful woodwork and curved windows. It’s a great place to catch a sunset!
You can visit the LakeHouse restaurant Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm, and Sunday 11am-9pm.