WARRENS—Renovating and transforming the former Bog restaurant site into Lost at Donna K’s Bar and Grill has been a challenge.
But the end is in site, and the restaurant is tentatively expected to open Wednesday, Nov. 15 pending a state health inspection.
Chuck Bowers, owner of Donna K’s, said there were more problems with the building than expected.
“This was a long road,” he said. “This building was very distressed, run into the ground. The previous owner did good when he was here, but as the end came they let things go.”
There was a lot to fix, Danielle Laehn of Donna K’s, said.
“There were more troubles here than we thought as far as plumbing and electricity; there was a lot of remodeling,” she said.
It all turned out well in the end, Bowers said.
“We went in and reconditioned the entire building,” he said. “It looks different — calmer and homey.”
This is not Bowers’ first restaurant; he has another Donna K’s in Black River Falls. He used to own another restaurant in Black River Falls; however, it burned down and he owned four other restaurants in Madison but sold those about two years ago to focus on the Black River and Warrens sites.
Bowers said his restaurants are for the communities they are in, including Warrens.
“We’re happy to be serving the Warrens community,” he said. “Tomah and Warrens need something like this ... Our hopes for the future is to have more Donna K’s .... to put more into the communities that need a restaurant, need something reasonably priced, and we put our hearts and souls into it. It’s not about money to us. We want to make a living, but it’s more about serving the community, to give something back to the community.”
Laehn said the food at Donna K’s can be described as home-cooked.
“It’s all home-cooked meals ... from scratch, and Chuck puts his own twist on recipes in terms of seasoning,” she said.
The food is inspired by Bowers’ mother. Bowers said she is the reason he pursued a restaurant career.
“A passion of hers was always the food industry,” he said. “We owned a couple restaurants and bars, and she got me into it. She was the one who taught me how to cook.”
Bowers’ mother was also the inspiration for the restaurant’s name. He renamed the restaurants Donna K’s in remembrance of his mother, who died four months ago.
Bowers is anxious to open the business.
“I’m very excited for the opening. I wish it was a month ago, two months ago,” he said. “I’m excited. I want to bring what we have to the community.”