FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) — The owners of a central Ohio restaurant are figuring out their next steps after a devastating weekend fire.
For the past three years, Spencer Campbell and his wife have poured their hearts into Shakers Public House in Franklin Township. They said that since they became owners, they’ve made it into a family-friendly bar and restaurant.
“I love this side of town and providing a family-friendly atmosphere on this side of town this close to the city so to speak was very important and we were just about to launch a new kids menu,” Campbell said.
He lives just around the corner from the restaurant and got the call about the fire early Saturday morning.
“As I’m pulling out of the driveway, you could see the smoke coming up and it’s pretty bad,” he said.
He said the fire started in the kitchen and spread through the rest of the building.
“Being the one that always orchestrates and tries to help people, it’s hard being on the receiving end, you just want to turn it down, turn it down, but there’s no doubt we need help,” Campbell said. “It’s a process we don’t even have a game plan for yet. It’s a matter of what’s next is cleaning it out, getting things dried out seeing what we can salvage, keeping things that mean stuff to us.”
Shakers Public House has 45 employees. Buckeye City Motorsports Whitehall location is having a fundraiser for them on Sept. 16.
Campbell is a glass-half-full kind of guy. While he said it’s hard to find the positives in this situation, he’s still found reason to be optimistic.
“There’s a lot of touches throughout the city, throughout here, and it’s horrible losing it, but to be able to do it again and create new connections, that means a lot,” he said.
Nothing is set in stone, but Campbell is hoping to have a new roof on by winter and have something at the restaurant again in the spring. He also said they’re looking at the possibility of opening a temporary kitchen nearby for carryout.