Camdenton considering tearing down historic ‘Night Hawk’ building

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 5:03 PM CST
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CAMDENTON, Mo. (KY3) - The buildings are empty now, but the Night Hawk used to be a happening place in Camdenton.

“The Night Hawk, back in the beginning, is what I understand, a 24 hour tavern, restaurant/bar called the Night Hawk," said Josie Mantle, daughter of the original owners.

Through the years, after Mantle’s parents bought it in the 1940s, the Night Hawk expanded, adding a gift shop, and a bowling alley that brought in decent money at the time.

“Anywhere from $2.50 to maybe $5.00 a night,” Mantle said, recalling seeing the financial books.

There was also a rodeo room, where a children’s square dance troop practiced and would travel and promote tourism to the Lake of the Ozarks.

“Every other week we would open up the first national TV program ever in Springfield, Missouri, called the Ozarks Jubilee," Mantle recalled. “We would open and close the show with our dancing.”

In recent years, the building has fallen into disrepair. Signs on the door warn of asbestos.

”The roof has leaked, there’s probably some mold issues, it would just take a total gutting in my opinion, but I’m not a professional," Mantle said.

The City of Camdenton bought the two buildings for less than $9,000. Now, city leaders are considering tearing them down.

Mantle knows it’s needs a lot of work, but is hopeful someone out there is willing to preserve some Ozarks history.

“There’s so many memories here. Everybody has their own, but if you mention the Night Hawk to someone who’s been here a long time, they’ve got a story to tell," Mantle said.

The city of Camdenton is giving potential buyers a little more than a month to give them a plan on how they will pay for the repairs and restoration of the Night Hawk building before they consider selling.

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