Gateway Cafe in Spokane, Mo. reopens after devastating fire

Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 9:59 PM CDT
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SPOKANE, Mo. (KY3) - The Gateway Café in Spokane is back open after a devastating fire in May 2021.

Owner Todd Leatherman is excited their restaurant is fully operational again.

“Everybody’s smiling,” said Leatherman.

Leatherman said a lightning strike caused the fire, which started in the men’s bathroom.

“This is, you know, a community gathering spot for everybody that that that people haven’t seen in the year,” said Leatherman.

Leatherman said their restaurant brings the community together.

“It’s kind of like family you hadn’t seen in the year, so just trying to get back together,” said Leatherman.

The new building sits off U.S. 160 and seats well over 200 people, almost doubling the size of the previous restaurant, with updated equipment and furniture, but some old relics survived the fire, like their greeting bear and a bird statue, which has burnt wings.

Leatherman said this was a long time coming, mainly because they wanted to open much sooner.

“It’s very exciting,” said Leatherman. “It’s been a long road, but we’re glad we’re here. We’ve been overwhelmed with support.”

Leatherman explains that the long road has been challenging because of supply chain issues.

“Continually pivoting when things are coming in when they’re not,” said Leatherman. “When metals coming in, when’s refrigeration coming in, and some of the stuff is hard to get right now.”

But Leatherman said that won’t stop this community-driven restaurant.

“This is the gathering place for Spokane because we don’t have anything here,” said Leatherman. “But if you’d come here and saw everybody as they came in. It’s good. I mean, I’m just really glad to be back.”

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