Caledonia BBQ in Caledonia will be reopening this weekend.
It took three months to make the renovations and repairs to the building after an arson fire caused it to shut down. Caledonia BBQ Owner Rich Jenkins said that the cost of repairs mostly came out of pocket.
“We did raise some money to help pay for some of the bills, but it mostly came out of pocket,” said Jenkins. “There was a discrepancy on my application with the insurance agency and I wasn’t in compliance with the policy since I didn’t have smoke detectors in th building. That is what they got me on and wouldn’t cover the damage even though the fire started on the outside of the building and it was arson.”
The business was closed when the arson fire took place the morning of September 15.
Neighbors spotted the fire and called 911 while trying to use a garden hose to subdue the flames until firefighters arrived on scene. The building received moderate damage from the fire with 20 feet of the roof having to be replaced, the loss of all the food, drywall damage, smoke damage and the water heater needing to be replaced among other things.
“I want to thank everyone who helped us through our difficult time of trying to reopen since this was our livelihood,” said Jenkins. “A lot of people donated time and help, material, cash donations. We had the raffle last month and because of it all, we were able to keep our heads above water while we did the repair work.”
Caledonia BBQ had been listed for sale last spring for $140,000 and a contract was put in place on it a week prior to the fire in September. Since then the contract is still in place and the sale will depend on if the buyer has financing in place. The arson fire is still under investigation and anyone with information can contact the Arson Hotline at 1-800-392-7766 or 573-779-3310. Callers can remain anonymous. There is a $5,000 reward.
The reopening celebration will be Saturday and there will be door prizes, balloons for the kids, gift certificates, and T-shirts. Bobby Powell will be playing country and Christmas music from 2 to 4 p.m. and all the favorite BBQ dishes will be back.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com