Why would someone want to own a bar? “I like bars,” laughs Frederick Ellis. “I used to frequent them. I enjoy going out and socializing.” It was his enjoyment of clubs that led him to open Lake Street Bar at 315 Lake Street six years ago.
Ellis’ day job is in healthcare, but he knew that he wanted to be an entrepreneur, to own something of his own. He decided his first project would be an investment in downtown. He wanted it to be something he would be proud of, a place for working professionals to have a good, safe (emphasis on safe) time, to be able to hang out with friends, talk, drink and be entertained. Ellis has succeeded on all accounts, but it was not easy because opening a business never is.
First came the six months of renovations which meant six months of money going out and none coming in. Then there are the ongoing costs of maintenance and improvements. But the bar is gaining traction. The customers, the events, and Lake Street Bar’s recent naming as a top bar in Shreveport by MyBartender.com all show Ellis that —though it has taken some time— Lake Street Bar is finding its groove.
“We have a top ten bar,” Ellis says. “It is safe, secure, perfect for working professionals and mature people and has diverse entertainment. It’s worthy of a visit and see.” Ellis has been aggressively adding entertainment to attract a more diverse audience. Lake Street Bar hosts weekly Taco and Tequila Tuesdays and Wine Down Wednesdays. There are First Friday night events with food and dancing, Sunday live comedy nights, football and other sporting event nights, zydeco and blues nights and more. He is interested in adding country music and even Big Band nights (if he could find a Big Band). It’s now all about audience diversity.
“I never wanted the bar to be defined as one thing,” Ellis says. “Nothing is off limits (within reason). I want this to be a multi-cultural facility, I want to unlock the potential that I know is here to have a club with a truly diverse clientele. I hope it is achievable, I believe it can happen here.”
“My biggest delight is the great reputation the club has. We’ve never had one issue, we are a safe place where you can meet a lot of people, connect with people, enjoy live entertainment.”
As Lake Street Bar enters its sixth year, things are looking up. Covid is (mostly) behind us, people are back out and looking for entertainment and Lake Street Bar is perfectly positioned, both in vibe and location. It is in downtown, yet far from the large crowds causing concern. It is small enough to know patrons individually, but large enough to provide a range of services and entertainment. It is in a good spot. So If you, like Ellis, enjoy bars, meeting new people and catching up with old friends and the occasional adult beverage, we encourage you to go by Lake Street Bar and see all that they have to offer.
Fri.|Sat. 6p- 12a
Sunday- 5 -10p