Relax a Little. Rest Awhile.
Certain iconic sites seem destined to carry on. Barrett and Jill McGuire, along with Pat and Chyrl Gallagher, have realized their vision to revitalize a historic location on the Mandeville Lakefront, fulfilling just such a destiny. Like its predecessors, Pat’s Rest Awhile is welcoming guests to rejuvenate while enjoying beautiful vistas of Lake Pontchartrain. In the 1870s, steamers began bringing Southshore visitors across the lake to the blossoming resort town of Mandeville. In 1880, Edmond and Rosy Frapart constructed a hotel, restaurant, bar and dancehall to entertain those visitors. In 1905, the property was rededicated as Rest Awhile, a vacation rest home where “the needy could regain health and find refuge by the Lake.” Barrett McGuire describes the building that was left vacant and damaged after Hurricane Katrina as a ghost on the Lakefront. His purchase of the property and restoration efforts began just in time, as had the buildings not been raised, Hurricane Isaac would have washed them away.
Chef Gallagher, who curates a collection of popular Northshore restaurants, says he’s thrilled to partner in the project. “Leave it to two crazy Irishmen to start a new restaurant during a pandemic, but the concept just couldn’t be denied. The McGuires are creative and supportive. It’s a fabulous piece of property that the community has embraced. It’s prettier and more well-received than even we imagined.” As Gallagher proudly shows off the renovation, he points out unique details including reclaimed wood from the original hotel and bar, and tabletops of local river cypress hand-made by Trevor Griffith. The main dining room and bar reside in the original hotel building, he explains. The RAW Oyster Bar and kitchen are new construction, and the deck was built to connect the 1850s Hadden Cottage — an additional dining area, and the Sophie Cottage — a wine bar and tavern, to form multiple cozy areas and inviting outdoor spaces.
“The feel and menu here are different than my other places,” says the award-winning restaurateur. “There are no white tablecloths here. It’s more casual and seafood-oriented. The deck comes alive on the weekends with people soaking up the Lakefront’s beauty and enjoying themselves.” Only opened four months, Gallagher says more plans are in the works including further developing the dog-friendly ground floor area and expanding cocktail areas and offerings. “It’s exceeded expectations in every way. It’s exciting — I feel so fortunate to be involved.”
Pat’s Rest Awhile is located at 2129 Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville. For more information, call 985-951-2173 or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/PatsRestAwhile.