WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (WCMH) — Residents and customers talk about the Willow restaurant, calling it a staple in the city that brings families and community together.
The Willow restaurant caught fire July 14 at 8:30 p.m., nobody was in the building the time. The fire chief studied video footage from inside and determined the fire began from internal combustion.
“It absolutely broke my heart,“ said Nicol Reiterman. “It’s just a fun family atmosphere. It’s a home health experience because you know everybody in there.”
The restaurant may be closed, but it is currently serving food in the Mahan Building at the Fayette County Fair.
“Sunday’s, we aim to get out of church early so we can be the first ones there so we can eat,” Reiterman said with a laugh. “They’re a well-known family around town. They went to school with us… it just breaks your heart for them.”
Melissa Holstein stopped in for lunch, too. She has eaten at the diner when she is in town visiting family.
“They have gone there for years,” said Holstein. “It’s like an institution.”
Both women were happy to hear about a fund that was set up to help the employees. To help, contact Huntington Bank and tell them you want to contribute to the “Willow Employee and Relief Fund.”
There is no word on when the Willow will reopen.