Spring Bay restaurant officially opens after renovations

By Beau Ebenezer

June 14, 2013 Updated Jun 14, 2013 at 10:38 PM CDT

SPRING BAY Ill -- For many, it's a home away from home where they've grown up with their whole lives.

And for others, it is a casual stop to get a taste of the famous tenderloin.

But after being closed for nearly 2 months, customers of the Spring Bay restaurant, Bemer's Village Inn, couldn't stay away.

"I missed it. We were up here a few weeks ago, and they were closed," said Bartonville resident, Donald Majors. "It is just a habit of stopping by."

"We came here a couple of weeks ago and saw it was closed," said East Peoria resident, Mike Gardiner. "It's one of our favorite places to get tenderloins. I was afraid that they wouldn't want to put more money into it because it floods."

For bartender, Brian Rohman who's dad owns Bemer's, letting go of their little piece of heaven, just didn't seem right.

"Once I finally got back here I was able to see the place under water not from the inside," said Rohman. "It was hard for me, and it was hard for them. We thought it was gone forever, but it was able to bring us new life. It was kind of a blessing in disguise."

They officially re-opened Bemer's on Friday after facing about $75,000 in damages and loss of business.

Rohman says renovations will continue throughout the summer.

While the cooking of the famous tenderloin has not slowed down, owners said their next step is to finish renovations to their dining room within the next month.

Currently, the restaurant has limited seating for about 45 people.

Rohman added that a name change for his family's restaurant may be in the future, along with video gambling.

"We want to be that hometown bar that people can feel like they can come back to," said Rohman. "At the same time while we are offering that, we can still bring in people from the greater Peoria area."

While work continues on the little white building that sits on the Illinois River, regulars or visitors passing through can once again enjoy a bite, while remembering the destruction that was left just two months ago.

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