Vandalia Leader

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Future of Great Plains Kitchen remains uncertain

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 8:24 pm

By Woodrow Polston

The Great Plains Kitchen located at 1811 West Highway 54 has been closed for one month now. Having served the community since its grand opening on Feb. 7, 2018, the family buffet restaurant abruptly announced that it would be closed on Saturday, March 18. Then the next day, the restaurant’s Facebook page announced that “Great Plains will be closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. So sorry for any inconvenience.”
On March 21, a post was made on the Facebook page stating that “Great Plains Kitchen will be closed the rest of the week for cleaning.” No further posts have been made concerning the reopening of the establishment since that time. The Vandalia Leader reached out to the owner for a statement, but no comment was given on the details of the closure.
Former employees took to social media to inform the public that the restaurant was forced to close as a result of staff members walking off the job. Although the owner seemed to imply the closure was temporary and because of necessary cleaning, former employees stated otherwise on social media. Darren Berry, who is the president of the Vandalia Rotary Club, said that things do not look promising for the future of the restaurant.
“We were contacted by the owner of Great Plains concerning our weekly meetings there at the restaurant,” said Berry. “They requested that we come and remove all of our Rotary items that are kept there for our weekly Rotary meetings. This did not sound promising for the prospect of them reopening any time soon,” he added.
Berry said that the club is in the process of finding a new home for the weekly meetings. The Great Plains restaurant has also served the community by hosting many annual class reunions for the last several years. Further online conversations about the status of Great Plains was made after residents noticed the restaurant equipment was listed for sale online. General discussion on social media reveals that residents are hopeful that if the closure is permanent, that another restaurant will soon open at this location. The building was originally a Pizza Hut.