Rian’s Fatted Calf rebuilds and reflects recovery approaching tornado anniversary

Family business looking to open in one or to months

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – When December’s deadly tornadoes struck almost one year ago, Bowling Green’s beloved Rian’s Fatted Calf lay destroyed in the aftermath.

“When the tornado came it was very surreal,” said owner Rian Barefoot. “I was just blown away by what had happened.”

Rian’s family-run business has come a long way rebuilding since December 11, 2021.

He described, “We had a waterfall going through that building. Wind was blowing everywhere. Windows smashed down. Trees, telephone poles down everywhere.”

The road to recovery has been a long one, a walk both physically and emotionally heavy.

Rian’s son and shop employee Steven Bartos said, “The first initial knee-jerk reaction was ‘It’s gonna be a little bit of a process where we’re gonna get back on our feet soon.’ Here we are a year later and we still haven’t opened the shop yet.”

Rian agreed, “I sure ever dreamed it would take this long for them to get all this fixed.”

Between the building’s caved-in ceiling and storm-damaged interior, HomePro had their fair share of repairs to fix.

“There was quite a bit of damage here,” said HomePro owner Randall Cummings. “We had a lot of drywall hanging. There’s mold set up all the exterior. Windows broke out, the roof ripped off, the outside cooler damaged… [From then until now,] it’s a big significant improvement.”

Through each rebuilding setback, the family business found strength in each other.

“Whenever we’re feeling down, we’re able to just kind of lean on each other,” Steven said. “That’s one of the beauties of having a family business…. My dad’s just kind of been able to be the one to pull us all together and keep a positive outlook.”

Rian added, “We just want people to know how supportive this community has been to us has just been absolutely amazing.”

Rian’s Fatted Calf hopes to expedite their finishing touches and have their grand reopening in the next month or two.

“There is a light at the end of this tunnel,” said Steven. “We just have to keep pressing forward and support each other and know that all of us are ready to serve you guys as soon as we can.”

Rian concluded, “It’s been a journey but I just can’t stress again about the community of Bowling Green and how supportive and how helpful everybody has been.”