Burgee Dave’s on the rebound, rebuild in Camptonville
July 30, 2018
Walking into Burgee Dave's at the Mayo it becomes clear that something tragic happened – the walls are bare, the wooden floors where booths used to be are empty. All that remains inside the restaurant since last year's fire is a bar built in the 1880s, and the friendly faces of owner Brian Price and his employees.
The back of the restaurant caught fire July 20, 2017. It destroyed the dishwashing area, bathrooms, food prep area, and smoke damaged everything else inside, besides the bar. Price said he isn't sure exactly what caused the fire to start.
He believes it might have been started by an electrical shortage from the ice machine or refrigerator, but no real investigation was conducted because he didn't have fire insurance.
His restaurant has been a staple in the small community of Camptonville, but it's his Ultimate Bloody Mary's that draw people from all around the world.
"We get about 30-45 new people that come by the restaurant every day. It's become a destination spot for a lot of people," Price said. "I always make sure to say hello and goodbye to people when the come because I want them to have that good experience when they are here."
Price isn't one to let a fire stop him from serving guests. He moved the kitchen to a barbecue area outside, set up some tables and chairs on a large patio and deck with natural shade, and he continues to serve lunch and dinner every Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.
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"We've gotten a good response from the community since the fire," Price said. "There are a core group of regulars that are helping, and we stay busy with new people every weekend."
It's going to be a long process to rebuild the restaurant, originally built more than a century ago.
Price and his partner, Sandi Kubich, started a fundraising campaign (http://www.gofundme.com/462gn7c) following the fire to help cover construction costs.
The goal is set at $30,000 and so far, community members have helped raise more than $10,000. Price said that if 5,000 people donated $20 each, they would have the funds required for reconstruction.
Price said the restaurant will host another annual fundraiser in the next of couple weeks. The 6th annual Burgee Dave's at the Mayo Mermaid Run is scheduled for Aug. 18. Motorcycle riders start at the restaurant in the morning and ride to several locations around the foothills before returning to Camptonville for live music, drinks and a roasted pig.
"The Mermaid Run is our next big fundraiser. It's catered to motorcycles, but you can participate on any wheels you want," Price said. "Come out and support us on the weekends. It may take a while, but we will rebuild."
To register for the Mermaid Run, or for more information about Burgee Dave's at the Mayo visit http://www.burgeedaves.com or call 288-3301. The restaurant is located at 15315 Cleveland Ave., Camptonville.
Jake Abbott is a reporter for the Marysville Appeal Democrat. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.