A new waterfront restaurant is coming to life at Lake Ray Roberts Marina after a decade of a private club occupying the dock’s only dining space.
The lighthouse building at 1601 Marina Circle had been an Elks Lodge since 2009, but when the club vacated at the end of May, member Lindi Bowker took over the space. Bowker, with her business partner Alvin Sarten, began work on what will become Boat House 10 Bar & Grill, a casual eatery that will feature classic waterfront fare such as peel-and-eat shrimp, burgers and catfish, as well as breakfast on weekends.
The addition of Boat House 10 — a name that plays on the fact that the area boasts nine other boathouses — will be a big change for the marina. Once a popular catfish restaurant, the building at 1601 Marina Circle fell into some disrepair in its last few years and, as a private club, was not focused on public dining and entertainment.
Bowker, who served as the house committee chairman for the club several years ago, said the new restaurant will look a lot different than what people may remember about the lodge. With the help of landlords and marina owners Bill and Sherri Williams, Bowker has been updating the space for the past month, investing $10,000 in a remodel.
The Williamses have played a big part in retrofitting the property, helping clean on weekends and prepare the building for Boat House 10’s opening.
“They have bent over backward to help us get in here,” Bowker said.
Boasting a suite of new kitchen appliances and fryers, Bowker said the restaurant is ready to bring a fresh concept and menu to the marina. The space has a large outdoor patio and a back bar, which will open for Friday karaoke and live music on Saturdays.
Boat House 10 also will be centered around boaters’ convenience, offering delivery to slips or a shuttle service that will carry diners to and from their boats. The marina will even open courtesy slips for the service for the first time, Bowker said.
“It’s going to be a pretty cool deal once we get everything up and going,” Bowker said.
Bowker has a history in oil field work and was in West Texas for several years before returning to the Sanger area in March. She had previously helped run the bar and restaurant side of the Elks Lodge as chair, so when the building was vacated, she decided to revive the space.
When Bowker came to the Williamses with the idea for the restaurant, they felt Boat House 10 was a perfect fit for the marina.
“They approached us with the idea, and we loved their plan — it was exactly what we were looking for,” Sherri Williams said. “It was the concept we needed with more focus on the marina and the boaters.”
The Williamses have run the marina since 2007 when they took it over from Sherri’s dad. The lighthouse restaurant space has seen a lot of change over the years, at times serving classic American food, Mexican cuisine and more. The latest change is an opportunity to provide the casual dining experience most boaters are looking for, Sherri said.
Pending a certificate of occupancy and an alcohol license from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Bowker hopes the space will be ready to begin serving customers Aug. 1. With nearly 500 boaters on Ray Roberts Lake, Bowker and the Williamses think the opening is sure to be a boon for the lake’s only marina.
“We’ve got clientele just waiting to come up and eat, so I think it’s going to be packed from day one,” Sherri Williams said.