Homemade touch will return at Breitbach's Country Dining - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Homemade touch will return at Breitbach's Country Dining

By Lauren Squires

BALLTOWN (KWWL) - Christmas Eve, 2007, a fire breaks out at Breitbach's Restaurant in Balltown and burns the historic, 160-year-old restaurant to the ground.

The owner rebuilds.

Then, on October 24th, 2008, deja vu. The new Breitbach's burns to the ground for a second time.

Most restaurants might give-up. Instead, Breitbach's hope the third time is the charm.

For three months Breitbach's famous Wine Shed has become "The Gathering Place" for regulars.

"We just love this place it's so homey," said Bev Rettenmeier the City Clerk.

A restaurant known for it's homemade touch.

"The pies are the big thing because cindy makes all the pies but of course all the food is homemade," said Rettenmeier.

That homemade spirit burned brightest after fire destroyed Breitbach's for the second time in less than a year.

"People have donated every day since the fire. Bringing food and bringing desserts," said Rettenmeier.

The rubble sat for months as insurance companies and investigators tried to put the pieces together. Meanwhile the question lingered: will they rebuild, again?

Although it's taken months to sort through rubble and get insurance figured out, owner Mike Breitbach says it's about the people in the community and that's simply why they're rebuilding again.

"It should be known around the world how this town reacted to a disaster. Disasters and tragedies happen world wide but no one has got together like this village," said Breitbach.

Already people are donating their time and resources to the new building. Breitbach says by mid-March the shovels will break ground, again.

"It's just like putting the a puzzle back together. We're at the same position we were last year this time," said Breitbach.

Putting together pieces of a puzzle and bring back the homemade touch.

"Like my dad and grandfather used to say: treat everybody the same. No matter who you are. Everybody's the same and that's just our motto," said Breitbach.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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