Closing of Loon Lake Lodge restaurant marks end of Laughner family era

August 21, 2010

The Laughner family has closed the Loon Lake Lodge in Castleton, ending a 122-year run of owning restaurants in Indianapolis.

Chip Laughner opened the wilderness-themed restaurant with a seaplane affixed to the roof in 1998, after the family’s once-booming cafeteria business faltered.

The 13,000-square-foot building on 2.6 acres northwest of Interstate 69 and East 82nd Street is being offered for sale with an asking price of $2.8 million, said Steve Delaney, a principal with Sitehawk Retail Real Estate.

The Loon Lake Lodge NASA opened a science and math academy for minority and low-income students at Martin University. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The restaurant chain Quaker Steak & Lube, based in Sharon, Pa., is considering opening a restaurant in the building. Hotel developers also have expressed interest in the site, which is near several hotels, including a Hampton Inn, Drury Inn and a Hilton.

Chip Laughner, now 55, said he couldn’t handle running Loon Lake after he suffered a stroke in 2005, and losses have piled up over the years. His 34-year-old son, Chad, and 83-year-old father, Charles, also had helped run the restaurant.

He said there are still Laughner family members in the restaurant business, including his daughter Stacey Laughner-Ramsey, who is managing partner of the Longhorn Steakhouse on Southport Road at Interstate 65.

The Laughner family operated the Laughner Cafeteria and Dutch Oven restaurant businesses, the last of which shut down in 2001.


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