Our story begins with Ed Kleber, Sr., Ed “Bug” Kleber’s father. He was an avid fisherman. He pursued his love of the lake/river with the opening of the original Fishhouse in August 1985 on Route 50 in Carlyle just east of the Kaskaskia River. Fire destroyed the building 3 years later and Ed Sr. did not rebuild.
Bug Kleber has been pursuing his dad’s dream of reopening The FishHouse for about the last ten years. He never could find the right spot. Ed Sr. passed away November 2010 and Bug embarked on his journey.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers had plans to develop and attract visitors to the lake’s south shore. After a year of exploring ideas/options, the Corp signed a long term lease with Bug and Jean Kleber on three acres located at Dam East Boat Ramp.
The 3300 square foot building will house indoor seating and guest can enjoy the lakeside seating in warmer weather on a 12 x 80 covered patio and a 40 x 40 deck extending out to the lake.
Along with the restaurant serving catfish, shrimp, and chicken strips, the Kleber’s will offer Kayak and bike rental to tie into the plans to develop a kayak trail and accommodate the current bike trail.
A beach area will be created in a cove to access the restaurant and the Corp is in the process of clearing a pathway from the lake to the facility.
Ed and Jean have worked in various business’s together since their marriage in 1981. Both plan to take an active role with Bug doing the cooking and Jean managing the staff and overall day to day operations. They are looking forward to continuing the tradition of good fish, good friends, and good memories.