When Cheryl and Peter Kenny told regulars they were moving to Lake Highlands, they did not take it well. They said it was too far, and they wouldn’t come.
But after venturing to the new location, customers realized that Lochland’s Food & Spirits possessed the same vibe and quality as The Dubliner and Capitol Pub.
“At both of our other businesses, we’ve always had a lot of regulars,” Cheryl says. “You want to feel comfortable and special when you’re there, and that’s carried over.”
The Dubliner, temporarily closed because of the coronavirus, is the oldest Irish bar in Dallas, and loyalists gather at Lochland’s because of Peter and Cheryl.
“Even though each place has been unique, we still have the care in the quality of what we do,” Cheryl says. “Whether it’s the beer, cocktails or the food menu.”
From French fries to pizza crust, the entire menu is made from scratch. They use local ingredients like sausage from Jimmy’s Italian Market for the salciccia flatbread.
The shepherd’s pie is minced beef, vegetables and gravy, topped with garlic mashed potatoes. The Goat Man is a flatbread pizza with roasted grapes, goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula, pine nuts and a balsamic reduction. The kids’ menu offers fish and chips, grilled cheese and chicken tenders.
Lochland’s cocktail menu is full of classics made with fresh herbs, fruit and syrup, and the pub has 12 taps.
“We don’t like to overdo it,” Peter says. “We rotate a lot of local beers, whether it’s Tupp’s, Oak Highlands or Peticolas. When I say ‘local,’ I don’t mean Texas, just Dallas local.”
After coronavirus hit, the Kennys made cuts for the business’ survival and led their staff with courage.
“We just try to tell them, ‘Look, we’re fighters. We’re not going anywhere,’” Cheryl says. “We’re trying to do it smartly, so we can stay here for the long haul.”
They’ve hosted drive-in movie nights with car-side service and transformed the courtyard into a socially distanced space.
“We’ve had so much feedback from the neighborhood dying to get out but not feeling comfortable with it,” Peter says. “This is a way for most people to have some sort of an option.”
Lochland’s Food & Spirits, 8518 Plano Road, 469.677.0174, lochlandsdallas.com.