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Superior business at standstill while filled with ash from Marshall Fire

Angry Horse Eatery closed for more than a month, waiting on insurance
Superior business filled with ash from Marshall Fire
Posted at 8:09 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 10:09:18-05

SUPERIOR, Colo. — As the rebuilding after the Marshall Fire continues, some local businesses impacted by the destruction are stuck waiting on insurance companies before they can start cleaning.

For those who love the Angry Horse restaurant, it feels like a second home. It is located in the Sport Stable complex in Superior, near where the Element Hotel used to stand. During the Marshall Fire, ash and debris blew into the restaurant and covered the interior, but the building was spared from the burn.

“It gets into the electrics, the smoke, the ash. We have to ventilate, and clean the air from all the smoke," said Onkar "Gary" Birke, one of the owners of the Angry Horse. “As far as when we open, it really comes down to the insurance companies and the sense of urgency that they have for us.”

The Angry Horse has been closed since the fire on Dec. 30, keeping some of their employees on payroll. The general manager of the restaurant, Courtney Hardison, wishes she could keep paying all of them.

“A few of them have gone out and gotten other jobs. You know, being parents, it's not easy to just go from having a steady job to not. They all rely on tips, which is something that, unfortunately, we can't give them," Hardison said.

The Angry Horse restaurant reopened in 2021 after rebranding. Birke said the pandemic had been challenging for the business, and they were just starting to round the corner in December, right before the Marshall Fire.

“With the change of ownership, and with COVID, we've opened and closed and opened and closed so many times that unfortunately, this just feels natural," Hardison said.

One of the co-leads of the newly formed Superior Rising group, John Heckman, came to see the damage inside of the Angry Horse.

“It took my breath away, I did not realize the scale of this," Heckman said. “This is an important reminder that the businesses in our area are a hugely important stakeholder for this recovery.”

While the Angry Horse waits on insurance companies to give them permission to start cleaning, those with the restaurant have no doubt they will be back soon, thanks to the support of their community.

“Optimistically, I'd like to be open within a couple of months. It will be a gradual phased opening," Birke said. “It's not a case of how long will we survive. We are going to survive.”