MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. – Business owners in Mountain Grove are marking a somber anniversary Wednesday. One year ago, on July 27, 2021, a fire engulfed several buildings on the square, destroying them.

Matteo’s, one of the businesses damaged in the fire, posted on social media that July 27, 2022, marked one year since the fire and that the restaurant would host a Community Appreciation Day offering discounts for all customers and meals for half price for first responders.

Matteo’s was shut down for four months after the fire. Part of the building is still blocked off because of the damage.

The owner, Matthew Brown said in spite of the ongoing challenges, business has been good and he and his coworkers are grateful for the support of the community.

The fire took out four other buildings besides Matteo’s. Ozarks First checked in with the businesses five weeks after the fire, and the City Administrator said people in the community were disheartened by the destruction.

“Because of the damage that has occurred, the history that has gone, the lives that were affected, the businesses that were affected…our town has a huge hole still,” Brown said Wednesday. “We have a big black eye right in the middle of our square. And it’s it hurts you know, to see this every day. But we’re not gone. We’re still here.”