Mission Bowl owners say they won’t reopen Martway location destroyed by fire

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The family that owns Mission Bowl announced today that it will no longer seek to reopen its original Martway location, which was destroyed in a fire in April 2015.

In a letter posted on Facebook, Beverly and Mike O’Donnell and Cynthia and Randy Thomas said that “due to recent circumstances beyond our control, we will not be able to rebuild Mission Bowl. This has been one of the hardest situations we’ve had to experience.”

The owners had been involved in a legal dispute with a company retained to clean the site and secure it following the fire, claiming that the company, National Catastrophe Recovery, had failed to properly protect part of the building left standing after the fire. A jury trail had been scheduled for August, but was canceled in July. Court records indicate that the defendants had retained a bankruptcy attorney as of late last month.

Mission Bowl opened in Mission in 1956, and had been operated by three generations of the same family. The morning of April 3, 2015, the motor in a kitchen exhaust fan seized up, sparking a blaze in the ceiling. Because of the building’s construction, the fire spread quickly through the ceiling area, engulfing much of the structure. Firefighters from a number of local departments battled the blaze for nearly an hour and a half before it was fully contained. Despite significant damage to the ceiling and parts of the exterior, fire officials said the building was not a total loss. The owners announced shortly after the blaze that they hoped to have it reopened later that year.

Mission Bowl continues to operate its second location in Olathe.

The full message posted on the Mission Bowl Facebook page is below:


About the author

Jay Senter
Jay Senter

Jay Senter is the founder and publisher of the Post.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he worked as a reporter and editor at The Badger Herald.

He went on to receive a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, where he earned the Calder Pickett Award. While he was in graduate school, he also worked as a reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World.