Photos by Derek Pruitt
WARRENSBURG - Ironworkers from Munter Enterprises of Middle Grove erect steel for the new Oscar's Smokehouse in Warrensburg on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009. The building is going up quickly now after the time-consuming work of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system and all the utilities needed for the new smokehouse, according to owner Jerry Quintal. The business will have 9,000 square feet of space roughly split in half between retail and processing. Quintal hopes to be open in January 2010.
The morning after a fire destroyed Oscar's Smokehouse, second-generation owner Jerry Quintal and his son, Joq, watched the ashes smoulder as they contemplated their family's future. "My dad stood in front of his house and said, ‘I've lost everything, Joq,' " his son, 41, recalled. "I told him, ‘No you haven't, Dad. This place will be bigger and better than it was, and it is going to work no matter what.'"
The Quintal family mourned the loss of their business for about five minutes, Joq Quintal said, before committing to rebuild. Nine months later, even the people whose determination made the reconstruction possible can't believe the transformation that's taken place. "After the fire, in the back of your mind, you always think, if we rebuild, are we going to have the same customers back," Jerry Quintal said during an interview at the new facility a few weeks ago. Oscar's reopened in February, after five months of hurried building by Munter Enterprises. The landmark business sold 11,000 pounds of bacon that weekend, and the pace hasn't slowed since.