Written by: Kathy Roberts   Photos by: Rachel Taylor

When owner Tom Hughes’ old partner was a kid, he and his four best friends all called one another “Larry.” So every time they went to hang out, they would say “I’m going to Larry’s,” or “I’m hanging out with Larry.” It stuck and stayed into adulthood. Hughes kept the name because he liked the concept that when you’re at the bar/restaurant you are a Larry. He feels it unites everyone and has a comfortable feeling. He also takes on the name Larry these days.

This will be the 7th season for Larry’s on the Lake. Being a native to the Lake area, Hughes has grown up working and playing on the water, and has always dreamed of owning a Lake restaurant. Growing up, he worked at Lake eateries, and was mentored by the Barrett brothers while working at The Salty Dog, watching them run a Lake establishment, and interacting with customers and employees.

He knew that was a position in which he one day wanted to be. He says it’s very gratifying giving high school kids a summer job, watching them learn and grow summer after summer.

And he loves Larry’s!

“OUR DOCK ROCKS!” he says. “We have the only floating tiki bar/ eating area ON the water. Not to mention, one of the prettiest sunsets. Our amazing local customers, employees and location are all particularly special! We are at what’s known as the four corners of the Lake, at the 31mm (Pier 31 exit by land). Our parking docks are the safest on the water, so you can enjoy your dining experience without worrying about your boat being damaged.”

The inside was freshly painted this season by a local artist, Ashley Hodel, who created a fun underwater scene. There is a bar, seating area and an outdoor patio upstairs with lovely lights hanging above for a romantic ambience. Downstairs is a giant floating tiki bar with seating on the dock, as well as a stage and gift shop.

Many menu items have stayed the same, but new ones are being added. The burgers are excellent, and Macho Nachos are a crowd favorite! They offer an array of gourmet pizzas, with a popular choice being the BBQ Chicken Queso Wrap. Customers love the Crab Legs. Lots of items unique/special to Larry’s are listed — come try them!

Chef Matt Batchel is native to the Lake area, and has grown up in the restaurant industry. He trained under his father, Rodney Batchel, a 4-star chef in the Lake area. “I am looking to bring new food, atmosphere and ideas to Larry’s,” he says.

People love Larry’s food, and also their bands and games: jumbo Jenga, life-size Connect Four, and Skee-Ball (Larry’s favorite) in the arcade. And there’s an amazing floating waterpark for kids (bring your own life jacket). Hughes says, “It makes my heart warm when I hear Larry’s has become people’s second home. Larry’s was inspired by all families! We have created a fun, family-oriented place for all (Larry’s) families to gather. •

Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich

Smoked pulled pork

Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce

Candied walnut green apple coleslaw

Ciabatta bun, toasted

Mix the pork with the barbecue sauce. Place on the bottom portion of the bun. Top with coleslaw and top of bun. Enjoy with one of the many tasty sides and one of their “legendary” Bloody Marys!

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