Burned-out business owners reopening, expanding into new location
MILAN/OSGOOD, Ind. (WXIX) – Nearly two years after a fire destroyed their business, the owners of a local restaurant and bar are rebuilding and expanding in a new location.
Heartbreak hit Milan, Indiana, the day before Thanksgiving in 2020 when the Hog Rock Cafe, a community staple, caught fire.
Restaurant owners Chrissy and Jeff Lanham said they discovered old wiring was responsible for the fire.
To this day, they remain grateful for the outpouring of support that has continued to carry them forward.
“It was devastating, but yeah, it was a great feeling knowing we had the full support of the community,” Chrissy said. “They came together shortly after it happened.”
The couple are now preparing to reopen at a new location in Osgood, Ind. The building they purchased was originally built as a school in the 1920s.
Jeff said, “They made it an event center of about 18,000 square feet with additional rooms, bridal rooms, a bridal room, and then the main event room.”
The property now bears the name The Hog Rock Event Center. On weekends when they are not booked with events, the Lanhams plan to bring live music and other forms of entertainment.
They said they are currently waiting for liquor and food licenses to be finalized, but they have already held a local school prom there.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to return to work and be able to offer our services to their community,” Chrissy said.
The Lanhams said they would not operate solely as an event venue. They plan to renovate an unfinished part of the building into a restaurant and bar, which will serve as the new venue for the Hog Rock Cafe.
“As I go, I will do the construction, the construction, the restaurant and the bar side, all of it myself, and I will kind of let it grow, in small steps, kind of let the center of events paying for everything to happen,” Jeff said.
For the moment, the schedule is not set in stone, but they hope to have everything up and running in about a year.
Jeff, a huge Bengals fan, made headlines in 2019 when he slept in a rooftop tent at the Hog Rock Cafe for 57 nights until the team snapped a long losing streak and eventually wins a match.
Jeff said he wouldn’t need to do it at their new location because he thinks the Bengals will keep winning.
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