Spicewood, Texas, along West Hwy. 71 toward Lake Travis on Pace Bend Road, gives off a lakeside feeling. The words "friendly" and "laid-back" come to mind for both the businesses and residents of the area with their self-appointed slogan "Just outside of weird," where flip-flops and dogs are welcome most places. With lake levels rising, these businesses say they are feeling a little more positive about the upcoming season and are ready and open for customers.


1. Lee's Almost by the Lake at 801 S. Pace Bend Road, family-owned and -operated for more than 22 years, was purchased by owners John and Jeannie Gigliotti from the original owners a year and a half ago. Living in the area, the couple left their previous careers to run the restaurant with their two sons because the couple enjoyed cooking so much. Lee's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, keeping with Lee's original "jalapeos in everything" theme. Dogs are welcome on the patio, and cards and games are provided to keep children entertained. Lee's has a new children's menu and serves beer and wine. 264-2552, www.eatatlees.com

2. Paleface Grocery at 3611 S. Pace Bend Road is a hub for the neighborhood, carrying everything from firewood and produce to baseball caps and fishing bait. There is also a wine cellar stocked with an extensive inventory to choose from and a food court serving breakfast treats, gourmet coffees, pizza and sandwiches. A small produce section and meat market provide some of the only fresh foods in the area. 264-8703

3. The locals who bank at Security State Bank & Trust, 3610 Pace Bend Road, bring their dogs often enough that the bank provides treats for their customers' furry friends, and employees know many of them by name. "The Hill Country's Bank" is the slogan for this full-service financial institution with 71 years of experience, 14 locations and some 40,000 customers. The bank, which opened this branch in 1998, said it prides itself in supporting community events, education and charities in the Pace Bend area. 264-9900, www.ssbtexas.com

4. Owner Andy Kirkpatrick has owned Moon River Bar & Grill at 2002 Pace Bend Road since 1995. The building has been everything from a schoolhouse to a bait and tackle shop, but it now houses a bar and restaurant, pool tables and a dance floor. The outside yard draws a crowd, with picnic tables shaded by giant Texas oak trees, and an outdoor stage for live music. The annual crawfish boil takes place April 28 this year and is one of its biggest events of the year. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. 264-2064, www.moonriverbarandgrill.com

5 Land Art Garden Center at 22101 W. Hwy. 71 is owned by Sherri Pfenninger and Jon Irwin. The center opened for business a few months ago, but the owners are still adding on to Land Art Garden Center's 8.5 acres. With a comprehensive landscape supply and garden center, an equipment sales and repair facility, and a 15,000-square-foot showroom, Land Art Garden Center offers fountains, planters, decorative accessories, silk plants, outdoor furniture, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, wall fountains, a feed store and a florist. With more than 30 years of experience in landscaping, Land Art Garden Center is also a full-service landscape contractor with the ability to design, build and manage both commercial and residential landscapes. 264-2622, www.landartgardencenter.com

This is a sample of businesses and organizations in the area. The list is not comprehensive.