Lisa’s Market Street Grille has been a large part of the Prairie du Rocher community for 30 years now.
Lisa Durbin-Leonard had worked at a few other bars/restaurants, including running Jim’s Corner Bar in Ruma for four years. But in 1988, at the age of 23, she got the opportunity to take over the bar that we now know as Lisa’s.
“The place became available and I figured I’d give it a try for a few years,” Leonard told the North County News recently. “The rest is history.”
Leonard had expanded and fine tuned her establishment over the past three decades. First, she added the restaurant in 1990. Then, after 20 years of renting the building, she purchased it in 2008 and started renovations. In October 2009 she held a grand re-opening celebration and open house event, complete with a blessing of the bar, dining room and kitchen by Father Dan Jurek.
“I am proudest of the renovation,” Leonard said with a smile. “It upped the quality of it and I am proud of the finished product.”
She continued, “If you look at what it came from, when I first got it, it was a dump and in such bad shape. And then what we’ve brought it to now. But I’m still working on things, as it is a 100 year old building.”
For more on Lisa’s 30th anniversary, please see this week’s print edition.