Business owners who burned down reopen, expand in a new location

MILAN/OSGOOD, Ind. (WXIX) – Nearly two years after a fire destroyed their business, the owners of a local restaurant and bar are rebuilding and expanding at a new location.

Heartbreak hit Milan, Indiana on Thanksgiving eve in 2020 when the Hog Rock Cafe, a staple in the community, burned down.

The restaurant’s owners, Chrissy and Jeff Lanham, said they discovered old wiring was to blame for the fire.

To this day, they remain grateful for the outpouring of support that has continued to propel them forward.

“It was devastating, but yeah, it was a great feeling to know that we had the full support of the community,” Chrissy said. “They came together shortly after it happened.”

The couple is now preparing to reopen at a new location in Osgood, Ind. The building they purchased was originally built as a school in the 1920s.

Jeff said, “They turned about 18,000 square feet into an event center with additional rooms, bridal rooms, grooms room, and then the main event room.”

Hog Rock Event Center(Provided by the Lanhams)

The property is now called The Hog Rock Event Center. On weekends that aren’t busy with events, the Lanhams plan to bring in live music and other forms of entertainment.

They said they are currently waiting for the liquor and food permits to be finalized, but have already hosted a local school prom there.

“We are excited to finally be able to get back to work and be able to offer our services to your community,” said Chrissy.

The Lanhams said they won’t just function as an event venue. They are planning to renovate an unfinished part of the building into a restaurant and bar, which will serve as the new location for the Hog Rock Cafe.

“While it gets going, I’ll do the building myself, the building, the restaurant and the bar side, all of that myself, and I’ll let it grow, baby steps, I’ll let the event center pay for it all to happen,” Jeff said.

As of now, the timeline is not set in stone, but they hope to have everything up and running in about a year.

A huge Bengals fan, Jeff made headlines in 2019 when he slept in a tent on the roof of the Hog Rock Cafe for 57 nights until the team snapped a long losing streak and finally won a game.

Jeff said he won’t need to do that in his new location because he believes the Bengals will continue to win.

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