James Bright, Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
TUTTLE — The destruction and demise left by fires rarely foster feelings of joy. Homes, businesses and even historic landmarks have fallen prey to this oxygen fueled terror and their owners are left with questions and confusion in the wake of the flames.
Trevor Anthony recently leased the top floor of the historic building in downtown Tuttle that fell victim to a blaze earlier this week. He’d opened Grady’s Pub and Grille in the space and planned to have live acts to accompany dinner starting Memorial Day weekend. A student of acting, Trevor and his wife Kaila moved to Tuttle late in 2012 from San Antonio with the hopes of having a business to call their own. Unfortunately that dream will now be delayed.
“Basically, we don’t know what’s next,” Anthony said.
The pub and grille wasn’t only establishment displaced by the fire.
Building owner Lonnie Paxton said there are nine businesses in the building and all were displaced by the fire.
In addition to the problems those working in the building experienced, the city of Tuttle may have a much bigger reason to grieve, as a piece of their history may be reduced to cinders by the fire.
“The big question is what is Lonnie [Paxtone] going to do with the building,” Tuttle City Manager Tim Young said. “It’s going to be more up to property owner and whether he can renovate it.”
Built in 1909, the structure once housed the Tuttle opera and Tuttle Bank. It has been a staple of the downtown area for more than 100 years.
And the question of whether it will be around for another 100 years does not have an answer just yet.
“My hope is that the building will stay here, but we are still in the assessment stages of this right now,” Paxton said.
Earlier this year, The Express-Star sat down with Anthony to write a story about his pub for an upcoming edition of The Chronicles of Grady County. Anthony, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, was obviously excited to get his newest venture up and running.
“From the beginning we wanted to make this more than a restaurant,” Anthony said in his April interview. "We had family that told us the pub was up for sale, we moved up here and decided to take the leap.”
Since arriving in Grady County, Anthony said the residents have been nothing, but friendly.
"It's a very accepting community," Anthony said. "People have been calling from all over to ask when we are officially open."
As for the food that would have been served at the pub and grille, Anthony said he and his wife created the recipes together.
"I am a pretty good cook myself," Anthony said.
Sadly the public will may have to wait a little while before having the opportunity to taste the Anthony’s cuisine.
Not all is lost though, as Trevor and his wife have managed to find a silver lining in this tragedy that could allow them to put their dreams on hiatus instead of completely forgetting them.
“There’s actually a grill in Mustang very similar to ours that’s ready to go,” he said. “We are playing with the idea of building a small theatre in Tuttle too.”
Anthony said he has maintained the accounts with his food vendors, but doesn’t want to say anything for certain until insurance claims are finalized.
Until that time, Anthony said he and his wife have backgrounds in cosmetology and contract work to sustain them for a while.
One thing is for certain: the resilient pair have no plans to leave Tuttle.
“The theatre wasn't only thing that brought us here,” he said. “San Antonio is a pretty big city and with having kids it isn't the ideal place to raise them, and we've been really impressed with Tuttle.”
As for the immediate future, Anthony said he and his wife are considering setting up a stage at the Tuttle Ice Cream Festival to give the community a taste of what would have been Grady’s Pub and Grille’s theatrical flavor.