Mama K's Cafe in Visalia opens new location months after downtown fire destroys businesses

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A former Downtown Visalia staple is serving up breakfast and lunch specials once again as new customers and regulars found their way to Mama K's new location for Monday's re-opening.

"It's amazing it's unbelievable. I'm just so happy to see everyone here today," said Catherine Deloera, a waitress at Mama K's.

It's been a draining three months for owners Karisa and Michael after an overnight fire burned their livelihood to the ground, as well three other downtown businesses.

RELATED: Several businesses damaged in 3-alarm fire in Downtown Visalia

But with plenty of help from family and friends, Mama K's Cafe opened its doors at the former Livestock Cafe with a new Wild West theme and plenty of parking.

"I feel like its a big weight off our shoulders that we're finally opened we got this done and we started in the middle of February," said Karisa Huertaz.

It's a unique setting for a restaurant. Mama K's Cafe is situated off of Ben Maddox Way surrounded by holding pens in the middle of a stockyard.

"It's kind of odd, but it's interesting because of the scenery and the environment, its kind of different," said Mickey Walker.

But the new digs and farmhouse decor seem to work.

Because of technicality with their insurance company, the owners say they're out over $600,000, and had to start the cafe from scratch.

"From paperwork to buying our register to forks to knives and pots everything brand new...you know we have to think of everything we lost," Karisa said.

The Cafe's seven employees also lost a steady paycheck when the fire engulfed the restaurant's original location.

RELATED: Downtown Visalia community kicks off week long fundraiser to benefit businesses destroyed by fire

But Karisa and Michael did their best to provide their workers with a soft landing.

"The very first thing we did was empty out our bank account to pay our employees," Karisa said.

"They helped us out so much they told me if you guys need anything if you or family need anything I'll be there, if you need to pay your phone bill I will be there for you," DeLoera said.

Mama K's Cafe is open every day from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
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