JEFFERSON — Lake O’ the Pines residents and surrounding East Texans now have the opportunity to snag the Pines Cafe’s popular barbecue loaded baked potatoes and hand breaded chicken fried steaks as the restaurant re-opened Thursday after a months long closure to remodel.

“We’ve been here for about two and a half years but we closed in about mid-June to remodel and completely update the restaurant,” restaurant partner Sandra Stephenson said on Thursday.

Sandra is the mother of the restaurant’s owner Glenda Stephenson who runs the eatery with her husband Aaron Blady.

“We used the months during the COVID-19 pandemic to remodel and update and we completely updated everything from the inside out,” Sandra said. “Aaron works in the oilfield and he was home because they were shut down so they were able to get all of this work done.”

The restaurant is a non-smoking cafe that sits just about a mile away from nearby Lake O’ the Pines.

“We have indoor and outdoor seating now and the whole restaurant is non-smoking,” Sandra said. “We can do catering for special events. We have a wedding coming up later this month that we’re providing brisket for and we do a lot of to go orders everyday.”

Sandra said the cafe is known for its famed barbecue loaded baked potatoes, handbreaded meats and fish and handmade mini fried pies.

“Our chicken fried steak is huge and you can cut it with a fork because we hand bread all of our meats,” she said. “We hand bread shrimp, chicken, our chicken fried steak, pickles and we have homemade tartar, red and cole slaw sauces. We also have our handmade mini-fried pies that are pretty popular. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday.

The menu also includes fish baskets, fried shrimp baskets, cheeseburgers, chopped or sliced brisket, sausage, ribs, grilled chickens and boiled shrimp.

“We might expand those hours if we see there’s a demand for that,” Sandra said. “We are also planning to add an outdoor pavilion area in the near future.”

Sandra said the family owned and operated cafe is thankful for the support of the community over the years.

“We have very loyal customers, some that come in everyday or twice a day,” Sandra said. “We have a lot of support for the community and we are thankful for it.”

The restaurant is set to host a grand re-opening event and ribbon cutting with the Marion County Chamber of Commerce at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The restaurant is located at 5079 FM 729 in Jefferson and can be reached by calling 903-665-0347.

To find the Pines Cafe on Facebook, visit https://www.facebook.com/PinesCafe/