Nearly eight months after Freshwater (Fine) Dining restaurant was destroyed in a fatal car wreck, Calvin Davis plans to reopen in the same spot.
Even as a youngster, Davis helped his family, who owned and operated restaurants like KC Masterpiece.
In April 2017, he went out on his own, opening Freshwater in a strip center at 3711 Summit St. The strip, which was built around 1920, had floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to six lanes on Southwest Trafficway, a chef’s table seating 10 people in the kitchen, and a wide opening between the kitchen and dining room so customers could watch Davis cook and plate their meals. He often carried the dishes out to their tables.
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Soon those tables were filled nearly every night.
But just a couple of months after opening, police said a driver of a Honda traveling north on Southwest Trafficway clipped a tow truck and lost control, traveling across the other two lanes and striking the dining room of Freshwater, collapsing the south end of the building.
Davis and his employees were temporarily out of business.
Some of his workers had to move on to other jobs. Davis and his father took over The Fred Restaurant & Lounge at the Hotel Frederick in Boonville, Mo., changing the name to Revival at the Frederick. And when repairs to the Freshwater building dragged on, Davis looked at other spots in the midtown area.
But none had the advantages of his original location.
“I loved the location, loved the neighborhood. It was so supportive,” he said. “I don’t have to deal with new licensing and I had very agreeable terms with the landlord.”
He said the building had stood nearly 100 years without incident and called the collapse a “freak accident.” Still, he plans to put up barriers before the scheduled spring reopening.
“The kitchen was so open, there wasn’t an office area and the entry was in the back so it wasn’t a traditional space. It wasn’t perfect and that made the restaurant better,” Davis said. “I just loved the space so much. Hopefully, we can pick up right where we left off.”