Roanoke Restaurant Reopens After Weekend Fire

Owners reopened the front doors at Reno Red's Frontier Cooking just in time for Tuesday's lunch rush, and just a few short days after a fire nearly closed them for good.

"Our first thought was, our entire life was going up," said Donna Clark, who owns the Roanoke restaurant with her husband.

At about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Roanoke first responders were called to the restaurant and bar on U.S. Highway 377 for a fire that started in the meat smoker.

"The staff said, 'Hey, there's a little bit of smoke in the bar,' which is normal," said manager Dan Onstot, "And I said, 'Hey, that's normal.' And they said, 'No, really, you need to check it out.'"

Onstot and others tried to use fire extinguishers to keep the flames back until help arrived.

He said the fire inside the smoker had grown out of control and was burning the bar area.

Responding units from Roanoke, Trophy Club, Westlake, Keller, Southlake, Flower Mound and Argyle all fought the fire and took it out before it could get worse.

"They told us about two minutes more and it would have been a different story," said Clark. "We're eternally grateful to the Roanoke Fire Department, the police department, just everyone in the community."

Onstot said he, the Clarks and others set to work immediately to get whatever they could of the restaurant back open, working 12-hour days to get everything up to code and calling in all of the necessary inspectors.

The hard work paid off as they were able to reopen much of the restaurant Tuesday.

They will have to keep the bar area closed while repairs continue there, possibly for months to come. Onstot said they're working on a temporary bar for the time being.

They'll also only offer a limited menu for a while until they can figure out the smoker issues.

However, Clark said their main goal was to get employees back to work and earning money as well as to continue serving the community that's helped them so much over the last few days in any capacity they can.

"When something like this happens, the town gets behind you. And it's made things a lot easier," said Onstot.

The restaurant did lose several irreplaceable and antique items in the fire, including original wood and tile work and some large taxidermy pieces.

Employees said they have dealt with several floods in the past, including taking on water earlier this month during a rainstorm, however, this was the first fire that came to mind.

Onstot said they have a lot of work left to do before they can plan for the next steps, but they hope to put together something special for the local first responders as soon as they can.

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