Chef Pat Gallagher is one of the most accomplished restauranteurs on the north shore. He is known for Gallagher’s Grill with the original location in Covington and two additional locations in Slidell and Mandeville and Band’s Grocery, a sandwich shop in Mandeville. Now he has opened Pat’s Rest A While in Mandeville.
This unique spot opened its doors in January 2021 and has different buildings and interconnected areas — from the cypress-lined main dining room, across the broad open-air
deck, into one cottage turned into a private dining area and to another turned into a cozy, club-like bar. The view from each area of the restaurant is a picturesque scene of Lake Pontchartrain. The lake is definitely the unifying characteristic of this restaurant that serves dishes that you can find at a laid-back beachfront hut to a refined white tablecloth restaurant.
The restaurant is housed in several 19th-century buildings that have been refurbished. Originally the Frapart Hotel, the property became known as the Rest A While when it turned into a summer camp for needy families and orphans.
Unfortunately, when Hurricane Katrina hit, the property was severely damaged. Jill and Barrett McGuire, local real estate developers, purchased the property and raised the elevation on the buildings. When they purchased the property, they pictured it as a restaurant and this came to fruition with the help of Pat.
This unique restaurant has many personal touches and intimate spaces. In the main dining room, there is a beautiful tapestry of local cypress and oak. The bar has a clubhouse feel under open rafters and there are room numbers along the walls throughout that show where the structure was once divided into different rooms. An old toboggan-like sled that used to be on the lake is displayed as well as a photo of a group of women who used to work at the Rest A While.
Patrons and pets alike can enjoy this Mandeville spot. This July an open-air bar opened with water bowls for visiting pets. Come by 2129 Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville and enjoy some local seafood and drinks.