Photo by Kathy Tran

Lake House Bar and Grill has been serving American cuisine and seafood to Lake Highlands and East Dallas for almost 10 years.

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However, like many restaurants, it took a hit during the pandemic and has seen a decrease in foot traffic. The restaurant isn’t closing, but is seeking the support of neighbors

Owner John Schmitz, always on the hunt for a challenge, decided to open the restaurant as a neighborhood spot.

“When I decided to turn my passion into a profession, I decided I wanted to put my stamp on the restaurant business. I wanted to open up a neighbor restaurant in one of my favorite areas, White Rock Lake. I assembled my best friends and we started to develop the concept on my couch,” Schmitz writes.

The Bishop Lynch High School alum invested his life savings into the operation and had support from his friends and family. Even Bishop Lynch alumni would host events and happy hours from time to time.

Fast forward a few years, right before restaurants were ordered to shut down in March 2020, the restaurant was broken into with thousands of dollars in items stolen. Though COVID brought its share of challenges for the restaurant, Schmitz says the government assistance and overwhelming community support helped.

“I contribute my success to all the wonderful people that I had met over the years in this business. It is not me that makes the restaurant successful but the people that I surround myself with. I am very blessed,” he says.

Now, however, there is no more government assistance and inflation has brought on new challenges. This is what Schmitz wrote:

People are going out less and spending less. You’re seeing restaurants starting to shut down at an even higher rate. The goal is to just survive, but for small restaurants with limited capital, the question is for how long. The Lake House is seeing our numbers cut in half due to the economic environment. Our costs are rising and our profit margins are shrinking and people are going out less. It is a scary time, but I came to the realization through experience, that for those that put the hard work in, something always good comes out of it. I learned a lot through all of this.

Lake House offers specials weekly and plays football games on its 17 TVs. Restaurant hours are 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.