Businesses mourn the loss of small town's only restaurant - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Businesses mourn the loss of small town's only restaurant

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MILLTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- It survived a massive flood, the great recession and fast moving flames and now--for the second time--its back to ashes.

The Blue River Cafe went up in flames Sunday morning, completely destroying the restaurants commercial kitchen and offices.

The restaurant was known to attract customers from as far away as Louisville and Indianapolis. It was something all the businesses in town benefited from.

"I'm going to miss the cafe and all the customers and business they bring to our little town," says Paula Salisbury of Hooter's Liquors. "They know they can have their nice dinner over there and then come over here and get some refreshments for tomorrow or this evening."

The restaurant was getting ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary. 15 of those years have been under the ownership of Mark Woods.

Woods has now seen two fires at the restaurant. He rebuilt nearly four years ago after fire destroyed the original building. He thought he had done everything to avoid re-living the nightmare.

"I used the best contractors, and the best materials," says Woods. "It had fire doors and fire walls and exit lights and on and on. It cost a fortune."

But it wasn't enough--as fire crews tell Woods they believe the blaze may have started with the furnace.

And now, Milltown business owners are mourning the loss as their livelihood balanced delicately on the big city appetite for their small town delicacy.

"It brings a lot of customers here that this little small town wouldn't get if it weren't for them," says Salisbury.

Maxine Archibald, Owner of Maxine's Market, says the restaurant spent about a hundred dollars a month at her deli purchasing cheese and meats. She says her business will be just fine without Blue River, but she is still sad for the loss.

"People come from all over to go to the Blue River Cafe and they come here to get their picnic supplies," says Archibald. "We're sad. It's bad. Very bad."

And for the man who made the restaurant his life for fifteen years, very few words can describe his pain.

"I'm undone. It's undone. and I'm undone with it. We are undone," says Woods. "That's the only word I can use."

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