St. Joseph’s Historic LakeHouse Restaurant & Bar Celebrate 5th Anniversary

Not all of us can remember back to when we turned five years old, but one thing most folks can agree on is that every good five-year old deserves a great party to celebrate, and that’s the plan for The LakeHouse Restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan in south St. Joseph.

Like any five year old, a lot of folks remark, “Wow! They grow up so fast!” At The LakeHouse, with arguably the best possible location for viewing sunsets on the big lake, they’ve grown into a red hot destination attraction for more than just those signature sunsets.

LakeHouse owner and operator Amy Heugel is celebrating the milestone birthday next weekend with a Dueling Pianos party in the event tent on Friday, May 17th, beginning at 6pm featuring a cash bar and an appetizer buffet.

The popular outdoor tent was added three years ago in 2016, as just one of many improvements made to the landmark property over the past 5 years. The former private mansion-turned-destination attraction has been completely revamped with new flooring, lighting, a custom bar, new furniture, landscaping, and original Josh Nowicki photography on display throughout the property.

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Behind the scenes, Amy’s team crafted a new kitchen and made considerable structural improvements through continual upgrades, while still maintaining the integrity and history of the iconic building.

The LakeHouse is focused on being a destination for locals as well as visitors from afar, and supports the community-at-large with countless give back nights, as well as donating the entire restaurant for the annual Hospice fundraiser- Taste Sensation.

In case you missed the news at that time, it was in the fall of 2017 that renowned Chef JP VerHage joined The LakeHouse team and has been taking the restaurants cuisine to a whole new level, creating rave reviews from everyone who stops by to check out great food, great craft beers, wines and cocktails, and that signature breathtaking patio view of the Lake Michigan waterfront, especially during the ever-changing sunset scene. Chef VerHage continually updates The LakeHouse menu, offering new options and teeing up unique and memorable daily specials.

The historic home that now holds The LakeHouse was originally built by the Smith Family from Chicago in 1892 as a summer home. Sadly, during the stock market crash of 1929, Mr. Smith jumped from a building in Chicago and his widow sold the property to Otis Colby.

The Colby Family operated a used car lot to the north of the house, as well as a produce stand across the street on the lake side for many years. The house thereafter was best known as the Colby Mansion.  The Colby’s celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the house in 1957.

In the early 1990’s, the home was purchased by Attorney Donald Bleich and renovated for its new incarnation as a restaurant. The house was leased from 1993-2007 as The Mansion Grille and from 2008-2014 as El Cozumel.  In 2014, the Bleich Family wanted to restore the magnificent old home to its original character and name the restaurant exactly what it was intended to be back in 1892…a lake house.

You’ll find The LakeHouse Restaurant & Bar at 3029 Lakeshore Drive, at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Hilltop Road, high atop the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11am-to-9pm…Friday & Saturday from 11am-to-10pm…and on Sunday from 11am-to-9pm. Happy Hour runs from 4-to-6pm. You can reach the restaurant by phone at 269-982-8020.