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Bec’s at the Lake closes its doors; COVID challenges were insurmountable, owner says

LAPLACE — After nearly four years serving the River Parishes, local restaurant Bec’s at the Lake has closed its doors permanently.

Owner George Becnel said the steady decline in revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months made it impossible to continue operations. The restaurant has also faced staff shortages since the onset of the pandemic.

“There were just too many battles to fight,” Becnel said.

Located at 105 Gary St. down Peavine Road in LaPlace, Bec’s at the Lake Restaurant & Catering offered seafood, steak and live music in a family-friendly atmosphere.

The restaurant’s impact in the community was evident in L’OBSERVATEUR’s recent “Best Along the River” online contest. A total of 45,755 votes were submitted throughout the month of July in various categories.

Bec’s at the Lake placed first in the Best Business Lunch, Best Cajun Restaurant and Best Wedding Caterer categories. Faith Becnel, who often performed at the restaurant, was voted Best Female Vocalist.

In 2019, Bec’s at the Lake received a People’s Choice Award for its apple praline cobbler during the 19th annual Got Gumbo competition hosted by United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

George Becnel said Bec’s at the Lake has been the site of many wonderful family gatherings over the past four years. He added that it took a village to make the restaurant successful, recognizing the staff members, landlords Gerry and Lisa Matherne, the Parish Council, the River Parishes Tourist Commission, and everyone who has visited Bec’s over the years.

“I didn’t even realize how many lifelong friends I’ve made out of the restaurant,” Becnel said.

Becnel was born and raised in the River Parishes. The restaurant has allowed him to form stronger bonds not only with the people in his community, but also his immediate family.

His son, Holden, is a talented chef. He was one of Bec’s at the Lake’s first employees in 2017, along with Melissa Simoneaux. Becnel’s daughter, Faith, is a well-known performer and also worked as a server inside the restaurant.

His wife, Denise Pritchard-Becnel has been by his side every step of the way.

“I’m amazed at my wife for handling the marketing of the restaurant. I got to spend four years with my children while building a restaurant, and we’ll cherish that forever,” Becnel said.