PALMER LAKE — News 5 followed up on the fire from late October that shut down a popular restaurant in Palmer Lake. The owner of Joseph O'Malley's Steak Pub said at first they were in shock, but thanks to the community, they are vowing to rebuild.
When the kitchen went up in smoke, asbestos was released, so no one is currently allowed inside the building. The abatement process should be completed by Monday. Those with O'Malley's said the kitchen is a total loss. However, the dining and bar area, which are part of the original structure built in 1901, will survive. "It's such an iconic place, and there's so much history here, and even just the community support has been so great, that we would not even think about closing," said Owner Jeff Hulsmann.
Hulsmann said the abatement process for the dining and bar area alone could cost around $40,000. He said their insurance is currently performing an independent investigation, but will not compensate employees for lost wages. Hulsmann said the money raised by the community to help O'Malley's will go toward their 28 employees and other costs not covered by insurance. "Somebody will buy a $20 item and leave $80 on the table, and all that money goes to staff," said Hulsmann.
There have been GoFundMe pages set up for the pub, one of which is said to be organized by cadets from the Air Force Academy. The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming, and one server from the pub said their help has been invaluable. "I cannot tell you how much support the community has given us, and so much concern for the wait staff," said Jane Sergeant, who has worked at O'Malley's for 27 years.
Another fundraiser will be hosted Monday, November 11 at 105 Social House in Palmer Lake. From 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., 105 Social House will be letting O'Malley's take over, serving a limited menu with their staff. The money raised will go to O'Malley's employees, according to Hulsmann. Hulsmann also said they hosted a fundraiser like this last week, which raised around $8,000.
Hulsmann said they hope to have the bar opened in around two weeks, and it will take around three or four months to get the kitchen open.