WALLA WALLA -- The Elks Lodge has opened its doors to Mr. Ed's Restaurant.Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8321.
The Rose Street building home to the fraternal organization is expected to become the temporary site of the dislocated restaurant, said Mr. Ed's co-owner Dan Givens.
Givens said negotiations are still taking place and a rental agreement is expected to be drawn up today. If all goes according to plan, the restaurant could be operational at 351 E. Rose St. by Dec. 28.
Mr. Ed's, an Isaacs Avenue icon, burned in a Dec. 5 fire. Givens and business partner Craig Potter plan to reopen at the original site, but reconstruction is expected to take six months.
In the meantime, the owners want to open a temporary location for their homestyle restaurant so that they can continue serving longtime customers and maintain hours for their employees.
"We want to do it, and we've got to get our people back to work," Givens said.
He said the transition to the Elks Lodge will take some work.
Although the kitchen at the lodge is larger, it doesn't have all the equipment for everything on the Mr. Ed's menu.
"It's made for dinners and lunches. We're pretty heavy into breakfast," Givens said.
He said operators will work to add the needed equipment. The changeover will be a scramble while he and Potter work to reconstruct Mr. Ed's.
"We're going to make do with what we can," Givens said.