Spring Lake Inn changes hands

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Spring Lake Inn’s new owners, Angela and Kyle Bode (left), stand with the former owners, Jon and Dena Schneeberger, at the main entrance to the restaurant. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s Spring Lake Inn has been sold. 

Dena and Jon Schneeberger officially passed the business on to Kyle and Angela Bode on April 1.

It’s a bittersweet transition for the Schneebergers, who’ve owned Spring Lake since 2010. They will miss the people and the friends they’ve made, yet they’re ready to take the summer off and spend time traveling in their new camper and on the river. Aside from that, Jon will continue working as a full-time pipe-fitter and Dena is not yet certain what her next move might be.

The Bodes, who are originally from Prairie du Chien, recently moved back from Stoughton. They’re thrilled to be the new owners of such a popular hometown establishment. They plan to keep much the same, from the staff to the menu, with eight-year Spring Lake chef Alexis Dethmann and longtime local chef Mel Behnken pumping favorite sandwiches and dinners out of the kitchen. Familiar faces will continue leading the dining and bar staff. 

The traditions of great food and drinks and the casual, neighborly atmosphere at Spring Lake Inn started with Tim and Angie Halton, who ran the restaurant for 19 years before selling to the Schneebergers nine years ago. 

“That’s what people come here for, the atmosphere,” said Kyle Bode, standing enthusiastically behind the bar of the iconic place. 

Its characteristics are what attracted him and his wife to buy the business, first approaching Dena and Jon about five years ago, in fact. 

“It’s the staff, the history and the culture,” Kyle added. “The people who come here are not fine dining people. They’re laid back, blue collar, beer drinking, meat eating people.”

Jon and Dena put in a tremendous amount of work revamping the interior walls and decor. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Jon shared. It was a labor of love for the couple, who were not exactly restaurateurs, but merely vacationers, who fell for the unique qualities of the little venture along the river road, and bought it on a whim. 

“We liked that it’s an all-seasons sport area. We made a lot of friends here,” Dena said. “It was rewarding putting out good food. We’re thankful from the bottom of our hearts that people gave us two naive Iowegians a chance.”

As the soul food continues being pumped out of the Spring Lake kitchen, the Schneebergers will remain available to Kyle and Angela as they embark on this longtime dream come true. 

Having grown up in Prairie du Chien, Kyle worked at The Barn as a cook, years ago, and later cooked and bartended at the Winneshiek. Angela has a background in business and marketing. Also, Kyle’s mom and aunt have both worked at the Spring Lake Inn.

“We have a huge support system here. Everything is basically staying the same, except we may have some new specials from time to time,” Kyle stated. “I’d also like to do some barbecuing a couple days a week this summer, starting in July, hopefully.” 

Angela noted that all customer gift certificates will be honored under the new ownership. 

For more information, visit springlakeinnpdc.com or find them on Facebook.

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