New Carlisle restaurant re-opens after sustaining damage during tornado

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly a month after tornadoes swept through Clark County, a local restaurant that was damaged in the storm had its grand reopening for the first time.

Mel-O-Dee restaurant underwent weeks of repair work and renovations.

Having been out of work for 33 days, waitress Kara Lawson said she’s glad to see the restaurant open and full of customers.

“It’s great. Everybody’s here,” Lawson said. “People that haven’t been here in a really long time are here. So it’s a wonderful experience. I’m glad everybody’s come back. Everybody’s happy. Its good times.”

Huber Heights native Debra Rivera used to dine at Mel-O-Dee at least twice a month before it closed, and when she heard it was reopening – she couldn’t wait.

“We were the first ones that got our orders placed,” Rivera said. “We weren’t the first ones in line but our orders were the first ones in and I was excited because like I said, I love their chicken. And actually, most of their menu is good.”

Strong winds caused significant exterior damage to the restaurant, last month – after tornadoes swept through the area.

General manager Woody Childers said the storm-damage was extensive.

“When we got here that night, the air conditioning was laying in the parking lot. Surprisingly we still had power,”he said.

In addition to the much-needed repairs, the restaurant also underwent some renovation.

But although it took a little longer than anticipated, Childers said he never doubted it wouldn’t get done.

“Never did we doubt that we were going to rebuild it, reopen it, and try to make it better than what it was,” he said.

“That was always the goal. This time, let’s make it better.”

Lawson added: “We were all anxious, you know. Because we were off work for over a month so you never know how things are going to go but we’re all very excited to see everybody.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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