By Woodrow Polston
On Saturday, the Great Plains Kitchen located at 1811 U. S. 54, hosted a Fall Festival to show their customer appreciation. The event began at 11 a.m. as employees fired up the grill out back to cook burgers and hot dogs as a supplement to the lunch buffet being served inside the dining room. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate new management of the restaurant. Timothy Borders, general manager, said that he had recently been promoted to his new position.
“I have been in this position for just over a month now,” said Borders. “I am really enjoying it and working through the new set of challenges that come with it. This customer appreciation event today has really exceeded our expectations. Everyone has been having a blast out here today. We were here decorating the restaurant until after 1 a.m. and then we came right back in at 6 o’clock this morning. But it was worth it because our dining room is full and everyone outside is having a good time,” he added.
A silent auction was set up outside, with a variety of baskets that were full of fall themed products. Debbie Bagley, front of the house manager, said that the community was involved with putting the event together.
“We have had so much help from the community,” said Bagley. “We had so many donations for the silent auction, there is a derby car parked in the parking lot … for the kids to paint their names and handprints on. Shannon Culwell donated his time and brought tractors out for the kids to play on, Jump-A-Roos brought over a bounce house, paramedics from the Van-Far-Ambulance District are on site to talk with the kids. We have also had a lot of help and donations for the interior fall decorations in the dining room,” she added. Other activities included sidewalk painting and a raffle giveaway. Although the event was scheduled to end at 2 p.m., Borders said that they may push it out until 3 p.m. if the crowds kept coming in. The next event that they have planned will be in November.
“We are going to do a canned food drive before Thanksgiving,” said Borders. “We will be collecting canned foods for families that live here in Audrain County. In December, we will be doing a toy drive before Christmas for the kids. There may also be some trivia nights that pop up on the schedule and even a karaoke night,” he added.
The Great Plains Kitchen also offers catering for weddings and events. Their regular hours are Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Friday, they are open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.