Thursday's fire at a popular Leavenworth restaurant has spurred reactions from around the community, including a donation drive for its workers.
Metropolitan Steakhouse Owner Dustin Hundley, who said he was going on 14 years of running the restaurant, commended the Leavenworth Fire Department, Reilly and Sons insurance and others in the community for helping in the days since the Thursday night blaze that damaged the back porch and part of the back wall of the Metropolitan Steakhouse, 1501 Metropolitan Ave. in Leavenworth.
“I've been outside talking to a contractor and seven or eight people will stop and talk to me,” he said. “I've had tons of people come up to me and volunteer to help out.”
Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Daly said she was among those who contacted Hundley about finding a way to assist the restaurant as it recovers.
“I said the Chamber is here to help,” she said.
Though Hundley said Monday that though he would likely have to strip the building down to rafters and studs, insurance coverage for the structural damage and lost wages were not his primary concern.
“I guess my No. 1 concern is the servers,” he said. “They make their livelihood on tips and not on a paycheck.”
Hundley said estimates are that rebuilding will take up to 90 days, which Daly said could have a big impact on those servers.
“Anything as detrimental as a fire,” Daly said, can have an impact not only on a business, but its employees, too. “Especially with the summer months coming up. I know they have live music on the back patio, so just to know that all of that might be missing.”
So Daly said the Chamber is currently taking donations for those employees at its office, 518 Shawnee St. in Leavenworth. She said the Chamber will also be taking donations at its regular events as long as the restaurant is rebuilding.