Legendary Linn Creek, Mo. restaurant reopens under new ownership

LINN CREEK, Mo. -- Giblert Dampier, his friend Nancy and his two sisters are no stranger to the Tonka Hills Restaurant.

"We've been coming here for years. Probably close to 50 years off and on," Dampier recalled.

Driving from Lebanon, the Linn Creek Restaurant was in a perfect spot when the four would travel to and from the Lake of the Ozarks.

"We come back and forth to the Lake, we come back here about every time we go, so this is handy for us," Dampier said.

But, last November, the Rollheiser family closed the restaurant after 41 years.

It was a sad day for the restaurant's regulars.

It was also a sad day for another man, Travis Cash, who was just living at the Lake of the Ozarks part time.

"I used to come here as a kid. This restaurant, in fact," Cash recalled.

Cash said he always wanted to have his own restaurant, so he got in contact with the Rollheiser family and decided to take over - and bring a local staple back to life.

"We wanted to make sure we kept the prices competitive with local diners," Cash said. "We didn't want to bring any kind of fancy atmosphere into the area because that is not what the locals have made this legacy. They made this a family diner, a nice place to bring your family, and be affordable."

Cash and his family did remodel the inside, making things a little more modern.

"I see they kept the buffalo," Dampier noted. "I was glad about that."

And if you're wondering about the food, the menu is the same, according to Cash.

However, there are a few new surprises.

"I got the chicken livers, and they're really good," Dampier said. "I make them a lot myself at home, and these are as good as mine, so...that's unusual!"

Tonka Hills Restaurant is open Monday-Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and Sundays from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.