CERRO GORDO, Ill. (WCIA) — Back in June, a disaster wreaked havoc to a small town hot spot.
A fire forced Judy’s Kitchen in Cerro Gordo to close down. Now the owner is working hard to rekindle the business.
It’s clear how much people love Judy’s Kitchen because of the outpouring of support they’ve shared with the owner, Judy Tuvell, since the fire.
Tuvell says everyone is eager to find out when the doors will open again.
It’s only natural how the restaurant business sparked her interest.
“I grew up here, and my mother owned this restaurant at one time, so I’ve been around this restaurant pretty much my whole life, so I decided to buy it,” said Tuvell.
It wasn’t long after that Judy’s kitchen became a town classic. But not long ago, a fire became a recipe for disaster for Tuvell’s business.
“The fire damage wasn’t great, but the smoke and water damage made a pretty big mess,” said family member Garry Roberts.
Ever since the fire, Roberts has been helping Tuvell regroup, restore, and revamp the restaurant.
It’s a full-time jobs with long hours every day…but he, just like Tuvell, has his sights set on opening day.
“I’m hoping we’re at the turning point and start to come back together now,” said Roberts.
“I have to say it’s rather frustrating,” said Tuvell. “It’s sad, and there’s a lot of worked involved in getting this restaurant back open and everything…and of course it’s not moving fast enough for me.”
In the meantime, people cooked up several ideas and offers to help Tuvell, including a fundraiser specifically to help her cause.
Her supporters say it was a no-brainer.
“She has helped so many people who have had cancer or relay for life or we had a church that was destroyed by a tornado and she’s had fundraisers for all of them,” said Challis Perkins.
Tuvell is grateful for the community’s help. Until this cook can return to the kitchen, she’s taking the process in stride in Our Town Cerro Gordo.
“I just made up my mind I have to be patient and let it take its course,” said Tuvell.
Tuvell is hoping she can get the business going again in September.