December tornado approaching 6 mo anniversary: Rian’s Fatted Calf talks shock, adversity & silver linings

How is the Bowling Green Bypass 6 months following storms?

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – This Saturday, June 11th marks six months since the December 11th Tornadoes hit Bowling Green, taking lives and livelihoods. 

Like many businesses along the Bypass, Rian’s Fatted Calf was devastated after the December tornadoes and was just a glimpse of its former self.

The family owned and operated business served prime, custom meat in Bowling Green since the early 2000s.

 Rian’s son, Steven Bartos says everything has felt surreal since December.

“Initially, it was kind of that shock factor,” Bartos recalled. “We were like, ‘Hey this is the business we built up. We faced a little bit of adversity throughout it’. Once the emotions finally settled, we got to appreciate the silver lining of it all.”

Steven says there’s a ways to still go before reopening.

“Just kind of made a mess on the inside of it, but luckily, foundationally, we’re pretty sound,” said Steven.

The community support can still be felt driving down the U.S. 31 W Bypass as remnants of bitter memories remain… but also, rebuilding and new starts. 

Houchens Industries construction worker Chris Hichardson has been helping businesses like Paul’s Barber shop rebuild.

Hichardson says that it’s, “Just sad to see people pretty much put their lives into [their businesses], and it’s been destroyed overnight.”

The sadness has been palpable through the rebuilding process, but hope along the bypass continues to emerge.

As for the Fatted Calf, Steven and his family will move into a new phase of reconstruction next week, and they hope to reopen this August.