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Property Lines - Scott Olson

Welcome to Property Lines, Indy's favorite source for neighborhood real estate news. Your host, IBJ real estate beat reporter Scott Olson, can be reached at solson@ibj.com.
restaurant closings / Restaurants / Real Estate & Retail

Laughners exit restaurant business after 122 years with Loon Lake Lodge closure

August 17, 2010

Loon Lake LodgeThe Laughner family has closed the Loon Lake Lodge in Castleton, ending a 122-year run of operating 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 had faltered. "After 12 great years we have chosen to go into other avenues," the Laughner family says on the Loon Lake website. "We would like to thank all of our patrons who supported us throughout the years. At this time we say Au Revoir, or as Roy Rogers said 'Until we meet again.'" The 13,000-square-foot building on 2.6 acres northwest of Interstate 69 and 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 restaurant chain Quaker Steak & Lube, based in Sharon, Penn., 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. The last restaurants carrying the Laughner name shut down in 2001. The chain, in business since 1888, already had been downsizing its Laughner Cafeteria and Dutch Oven restaurant businesses when in 2000, a judge sentenced Richard Laughner, Chip's cousin and company president at the time, to prison for soliciting sex from a juvenile. Shortly thereafter, cafeterias in Franklin, Indianapolis and Kokomo closed. Watching the business' demise was brutal for 83-year-old Charles Laughner, who had led the restaurants in their heyday. He retired a few years ago but remained involved, with son Chip, in operating Loon Lake.

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