Ted's Garage closes forever


A local landmark destroyed by a fire in March. A restaurant that people from across Central Illinois would visit for its food and car decor, but that will no longer be the case, Ted's Garage will stay closed for good.

Owner Scott Baum said it wasn't an easy decision for him, but bringing back Ted's Garage isn't in the cards right now. Instead, he said it is time to put his attention toward Baum Chevrolet Buick, his car dealership business.

Dirt and rocks are now where Ted's Garage used to be. Once the site of a retro diner, today a construction site, but Ted's Garage won't be rebuilt.

"I'm sure there's disappointment and I apologize for that," said Baum.

This fire destroyed the restaurant just six weeks ago. Now, Baum has decided Ted's Garage will be closed forever.

"I wasn't able to do to run the dealership and be a part of the restaurant to the fullest capacity," Baum said.

He also owns the Chevrolet Buick dealership located right next door to where Ted's Garage was.

"It was a way of life for 30 employees," Baum said. "So what you saw when the restaurant was on fire you saw that going away."

And customers that we're going away, too.

"It's just a great loss for the community," said customer Ted Riva. "Been a great place and it's gonna be missed."

Riva wasn't just a frequent customer of Ted's Garage, "first steak was excellent here," he said. "Last meal I ate here was excellent, too."  He also helped build the restaurant.

"From the day the first nail was hammered to the night it burned down I was here, and the night it was burned down you were just sick to your stomach," Riva said. "There's nothing you could do. You just watched it go."

And now it will never come back.

"I'll miss seeing the people that bring families in from out out of town to come and eat there, but it's something that I just can't do," Baum said.

So now it will just be days at the dealership for Baum.

It was Easter Sunday when the restaurant burned down, so no one was at the restaurant at the time of the fire. A storage facility right next to the restaurant caught fire. The wind blew the flames toward the restaurant causing it to burn as well.

Ted's Garage had been in the community for almost ten years. It was built in 2004.

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