Dew Chilli Pub and Grill Co-Owner Mike Monseur doing an interview with News Channel 20 Tuesday.
Over Mike's should a portrait of Joe Bocklemann as if he continues to watch over what he founded back in 1909.
Mike and his partner, John Leskovisek, bought the Dew in August of 2017 with the hope of continuing the tradition Joe started back so many years ago.
The two often stated when tough decisions had to be made, they would ask each other what would Joe do? What would Joe think?
Today, two weeks after that devastating Derecho struck those questions are being asked again.
What would Joe do? What would Joe think?
The two men, who also own Godfather's Pizza say they are waiting for emotions to calm so a sound decision about the Dew location on Dirksen can be made.
Today (Tuesday) Mike and John and some of the staff stepped inside the storm tattered location for the first time since the storm hit.
Inside pots of Chili left on the stove tops, tabletops with customers dinners and drinks, all frozen in time. All telling a story of the fear and threat that suddenly struck.
Customers and staffed scrambled to safety as the strong winds pounded the facility, giant power poles falling all around the building and lightening striking the pole sign sending sparks and flames flying everywhere as customers and staff described.
Mike, recalls the phone call he and John got during the storm from the location. The young man on the other end of the call is long time Manager Mike Kisner. "It's on fire! it's exploding! everything is falling!" Monseur recalls those words during that call. Monseur said the fear in his employee's voice, a father of three young boys, is a sound he will never forget.
Manager Mike Kisner told TV 20, " Debris came toward the building, My car was actually out there. The powerlines were wrapped around the car."
Mike and John stress, that while the emotions are high and the loss is mounting financially, what is a blessing is no one was hurt.
"Our Staff working when this hit, and the customers inside enjoying their meals, all walked away, shaken but not hurt" John stated. "That's a blessing" He added.
The total extent of the loss isn't known, but it is clear it will be great. Today (Tuesday) staff tossed out thousands of dollars' worth of product, which was just delivered the morning of the storm.
Complicating the decision to remain open or closed is the fact that the business was still digging out of the COVID shutdowns. Mike Monseur stated " We were doing well, then COVID hit pulling the rug out from underneath us. Just when we felt like we were able to breathe a little better, this happens. It's a double Whammy, one that we just aren't sure we can pull out of again."
Mike goes on to recall where he and John and his manager would sit in the dinning room. "We would sit over there" He told TV 20, "we would just laugh and smile as we watched people, families having a good time here. And to see it like this now hurts. It does hurt."
Mike and John stress how proud they are of their community Springfield, Illinois.
Both stating, they watched the daily news conferences the Mayor held and noticed just how tired the City Officials looked.
"Doug Brown of CWLP, looked like he hadn't slept at all. The man was just exhausted" Mike Monseur said. John added " Think about this. A Brand New Administration and the administration kicked into gear and in our opinion did an outstanding job."
The two added, yes people were frustrated for being out of power, but considering the enormity of the storm and destruction, no one was seriously injured, not one life was lost. The two emphasized "Our City did a great job! we are so proud of them, and proud of all involved to get our lives back to normal."
So, while the business may be a loss, if that is all that was lost Mike and John stress we all have come out a winner.
Dew Pub and Grill has another location at 301 North Grand Avenue, which was also closed for a couple of days along with a Godfather's Pizza. Customers from the Dirksen Dew are finding their way to the North Grand location, for their favorite, drinks, horseshoes, pastas and sandwiches and just in a show of support of the business, which is lifting the spirits of the staff who miss them.
Several meeting will be taking place this week. But early next week a decision on the future of the Dirksen Parkway store location should be made.
Updates to follow.