CAMPBELLS CREEK, WV (WOWK) – A beloved West Virginia restaurant is on the road to reopening.
The Dairy Winkle restaurant was destroyed in a fire in January, and the owner is having the restaurant rebuilt.
Kerry Ellison, also known as Paco, says the reopening is all thanks to the community in Campbells Creek. The workers rebuilding the restaurant are volunteers, who have helped raised over $5,000 in donations and fundraising to help the rebuild. That comes in addition to the $35,000 awarded by the Kanawha County Commission last month.
Dairy Winkle was a staple in Campbells Creek before it burned down, and Ellison says he is blown away by how the community has rallied around him.
“I’ll be in debt, money-wise and favor bank-wise, for the rest of my life,” Ellison says. “There’s no way I can ever repay what people have done for me. I see people who say, ‘Hurry up and get open!’ I’m hurrying the best I can. But that’s where we’re at right now.”
Ellison says repairing the roof is the first and top priority, and adds that the roof is nearly done. When the roof is finished, Ellison says the interior layout will be next.
In the new kitchen, Ellison says Dairy Winkle expects to feature new additions on the menu. He wants to open the restaurant for breakfast hours and add breakfast sandwiches, as well as start selling biscuits.
“I think I can make a biscuit as good as anyone else. I think I can make a hotdog as good as anyone else. So there you have it,” Ellison said. “So I’ll have to make my menu substantially larger, and breakfast is five hours that I didn’t do before. All I gotta do is pick it up and prove that I can make a biscuit.”
Ellison says he is aiming to reopen in June, in time to celebrate the 12-year anniversary of when Dairy Winkle first opened. However, he adds that they are too early in the construction process to announce an opening date at this time.