Detroit, Oregon businesses bouncing back after wildfire
Over Memorial Day weekend, there were five stores in Detroit holding ligament cuts after closing for about nine months.
DETROIT, Ore. – The areas where forest fires strike are still painful. But there are signs that things are slowly recovering.
Over Memorial Day weekend, there were five stores in Detroit holding ligament cuts after closing for about nine months. You look around and there are still memories of the houses and businesses that burned. But the people of Detroit are focused on the future and the advances that have already been made.
The Driftwood Grill will be open starting Memorial Day weekend. The cutting of the ribbon made it official and owner Elaine Degeorge is spiced up and ready.
“We have sandwiches. We have pizza. We have a flat screen TV and an outside dining area, ”said Degeorge.
The road to recovery has not been easy.
“We owned the entire lodge on Detroit Lake, the beautiful side of which with the hot tubs and chimneys burned down in the fires of 2020. I was left with the older building, which only has four rooms, ”said Degeorge.
But the space she’s left is renting out, and her new Driftwood Grill joins other businesses in town that also worked hard to recover from the wildfire nine months ago.
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At Mountain High Grocery, the staff worked hard to fill the store. It was another store that opened Memorial Day weekend.
“We painted the shop inside and out just to get rid of the smoke smell,” said Dean ODonnell, who owns the shop.
“Slowly the product comes in and give us a month or two and we’ll be full,” he said. “We were maybe 50% in stock and decided we’d open up and do better every week.”
Down the street Connor’s BBQ also opened on Memorial Day weekend. At the weekends it now runs from a food truck.
“Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork Sandwich is our best seller,” said Joe Connor.
Both marinas in Detroit are also in operation.
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Detroit Mayor Jim Trett said the cuts were a boost to the community.
“We have decided that we will probably do it for every new business for the next year. We’re even talking about a few houses to celebrate small wins, ”said Trett. “I think that really helped the ghosts in town.”
There are positive signs everywhere. People like the Kleins visit the lake and use the marinas.
“Feels good, different view to look around, but it’s still a nice view. And Detroit is still Detroit and hopefully it will recover and be bigger and stronger than before, ”said Chris Klein, who was visiting from Sublimity.
Trett said one of his biggest fears was wondering if people would come back.
“Yes, they are coming back. The campsites are on the rise. The state park campground was full for the entire Memorial Day weekend, ”Trett said.
While challenges still exist, Detroit business owners are excited about the future and hope that people stop by.
“Come and visit us. We have great food and friendly service, ”said Degeorge. “Enjoy our beautiful lake and the surrounding area. Even if we have lost a few trees, we will come back stronger. “
Degeorge said it was a little difficult to find help. She said she was happy about every application.