By Devorah Lev-Tov | TripSavvy


The Lakehouse

View of The Lakehouse sign, with the building in the background on a sunny day.

Courtesy of The Lakehouse

Located on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, The Lakehouse in Mandeville, Louisiana, is housed in an 1840 mansion, and serves classic Louisiana seafood fare like crab cakes, crawfish bread, and fried shrimp tacos. Cayman Sinclair, the owner of the upscale restaurant, is used to feeding large groups of people; the catering arm of his restaurant has fed film crews, the entire 2019 NFL Draft, and relief workers during various natural disasters that have hit Louisiana. And 2020 was no exception as the restaurant jumped into action to serve its community in need. 

At the end of August, when Hurricane Laura made landfall on Louisiana’s central Gulf Coast about 250 miles west of New Orleans, thousands of people were evacuated into hotels in New Orleans, and first responders started pouring in. Sinclair and his team at the Lakehouse set up a relief site at the restaurant to feed pulled pork, baked macaroni, and cornbread to the many evacuees, first responders, and government officials in the area. 

But the Lakehouse itself did not escape unscathed: by the next day, high winds caused massive waves on the lake that burst into the restaurant, flooding it without about a foot of dirty water. Unfazed, Sinclair quickly moved operations to a new location—a new restaurant about 5 miles away in Northshore that he was planning on opening this fall. There, Sinclair and his team made thousands of boxed meals that were delivered to hotel-bound evacuees whose homes were still without power.

Before the hurricane hit, the Lakehouse had already been helping vulnerable populations during the pandemic lockdown. The Lakehouse provided meals for children and their families in St. Tammany Parish schools, as well as for homeless locals who were moved to hotels during lockdown.

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