Mason County News
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Fire Destroys Grote Restaurant in Oklahoma
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 • Posted December 10, 2008

Reprinted by permission from

CALERA, Okla. After a family-owned restaurant went up in flames on Sunday, the owners of Angus Pit Stop are now left without their business and home.

The fire happened Sunday afternoon during business hours at the barbecue restaurant off Highway 69-75. Calera fire marshals say that it started in the northeast part of the restaurant in the kitchen. It took crews about six hours to put out the flames and clean up.

Glen Grote has owned the well known Bryan County restaurant, Angus Pit Stop, for over four years. But Sunday, he watched his longtime dream- and his livelihood- burn to the ground. We talked to Grote about what he plans to do now.

It’s a scene that Glen Grote says he will always remember. His restaurant and home were gutted by flames Sunday afternoon.

“I was out back working. My worker was stacking wood cleaning up and getting ready for another load, and I was fixing to go get and he comes running to me and says, ‘Hey it’s on fire. I came right here to make sure everybody got out and everybody was out, so I called 911, and they said they were on their way,” Grote says.

All Grote could do was stand back and watch the flames take over the Angus Pit Stop building. It took 20 firefighters from Calera, Colbert, and West Bryan County about six hours to put out the fire and clean up debris.

“Everything is unknown. I mean its pointing to electrical or propane. We found the origin of the fire, but not the cause at this time,” Chief Brian Norton of the Calera Fire Department says.

This is the busiest time of year for the four-year-old business, with staff booked to cater dozens of holiday events.

“We kind of do our little extra stuff and extra catering enough to catch up to pay the property taxes,” Grote says.

Calera mayor James Eaton says the loss of Angus Pit Stop will affect the entire community.

Grote has lost the business he has worked so hard for.

Angus Pit Stop also brought in much needed revenue for Calera.

“I hate to lose any kind of business because that’s what we have to operate on,” Mayor Eaton says.

Grote is currently living in a motor home that the mayor provided.

“I brought my motor home up here so he has a place to stay. [It’s] headquarters right now, and watch over his business or what he has left here,” Eaton says.

Although Grote’s restaurant is destroyed, he says the business isn’t, and he plans to rebuild.

Grote says he had many catering events planned for the holiday season and does not have a way to contact the sponsors to cancel. If you had booked Angus Pit Stop to cater an event, they say they regrettably will not be able to do it.

Editor's Note: An account has been established at Mason National Bank to assist the Grote family as they attempt to rebuild their business.

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