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By MARK EVANS
Ste. Genevieve herald
A part of the northern Ste. Genevieve County culture for generations, the Beacon Café is once again drawing in customers.
A popular restaurant and bar north of Bloomsdale on Highway 61 until it was gutted by a fire in 2014, the Beacon has been restored to its former glory.
Brock Gibson bought it, along with the old Sandbar in downtown Ste. Genevieve (See separate story.) and has been reclaiming both legacies.
The Beacon dated back to the 1930s and the current brick structure to the 1950s. After the fire, the structure was used as storage units.
Gibson undertook the massive restoration process and reopened he doors on Oct. 7. He said the reception has been outstanding.
“It’s been fantastic,” Gibson said “A lot of people have come in sharing memories. It’s nice to hear the memories from people. Everybody’s really grateful.”
The building is setup similar to its former design. This helps preserve the legacy for long-time customers.
“We have it set up very, very close to the way it was originally set up,” Gibson said. “Obviously, it’s brand new, so it’s definitely a different feel. But it’s got the same layout, which invokes the memories.
“When we watched people walk into the Beacon, they were looking around and you could just see on their faces that they were thinking about memories that they had their, putting themselves back in the same spot 30, 40, 50 years before and reminiscing on old times. It’s really nice to see that.”
Gibson said things have gone extremely well the first month of operations.
“It’s been great,” he said. “It hasn’t slowed down. We’ve had a lot of customers and they’re all been really kind and really patient. The patience is really important because were learning as we go. Anytime you start something new there’s a learning curve. We made some mistakes, but we fixed them and things are going very well.”
The Beacon is not just a bar, or pub. Gibson, in fact, views it as a restaurant first.
“It’s more of a restaurant than a bar,” he said. “It’s a beer-only bar, no liquor. It opens at 6 a.m. and the kitchen stays open till 8:30 p.m., while the bar stays open to 10 p.m. (midnight on weekends). It’s a full-service restaurant, with a bar and beer.”
Gibson has more things on the drawing board.
“There’s more to come,” he promised, indicating “a big project” is being planned right behind the Beacon that will make the property “very cool, very attractive.”
The Beacon maintains the same phone number it had for decades, 573-483-9982.