Restaurant closed because of E. coli outbreak reopens

The owners of an eatery that closed after a deadly E. coli outbreak was connected to the establishment reopened for business today.

Several dozen people ate lunch at the Country Cottage in Locust Grove, which voluntarily shut down Aug. 25 when health officials learned that more than 300 people who were sickened had eaten there. A Pryor man died after contracting a rare strain of the bacteria.

Hostess Cyndi Moore says the staff was anxious preparing for the reopening, but all in all things went well.

For patrons, they were served food instead of being allowed to go up to the restaurant's signature buffet line and dishing out their own. Moore says that allowed staff to keep better control of the food and to help save money.

State health officials announced Thursday that the restaurant was clear to open after passing rigorous tests and inspections. Among other things, the restaurant had to disconnect a private well be subject to environmental testing.

Berryhill resident and return customer Benny Tunnell found conditions as clean as usual and said the food was worth going back for extra helpings.