by Valerie Verkamp
An old-school fast food burger joint in Platte Woods became engulfed in flames late Thursday night.
L.C.'s Hamburgers, known by burger lovers for its juicy old-fashioned hamburger patties, fried onions, and vanilla ice cream, caught fire around 10:15 p.m. Thursday shortly after the restaurant closed for the day.
Employees had left the building located at 7612 NW Prairie View Road around 9:30 p.m. and the restaurant was vacant at the time of the fire.
Firefighters were called to the scene by an alert officer with the Platte County Sheriff's Department who noticed smoke coming from the building's exterior. Unfortunately, the situation quickly escalated and flames engulfed the roof and the north side of the restaurant.
Mark Potts, who purchased the restaurant 17 years ago from the original owner, who went by L.C., believes the fire was electric in origin and started when the transformer burst into flames. It may have started behind the letter “C” in the building’s exterior sign.
The 40-something year old building “remained intact,” says Potts, but sustained significant water and smoke damage to the building's façade and roof.
The restaurant will remain closed until all repairs can be made.
Potts says he hopes to re-open as soon as possible and on Friday he said he has been assured by the insurance company the damages will be covered.
Early estimates suggest the building sustained at least $80,000 worth of damages.
L.C.'s Hamburgers has a staff of 16 employees that range in age from as young as 14-years-old to an employee well into his 60s Potts says many of his employees are family like his nephew, Alex Potts, who was assisting Mark Friday morning.
Potts said he has been in the process of opening a donut shop he calls “Daily Donut” in the building connected to the restaurant. That building formerly housed an Enterprise Bank and Trust.
“We still plan to pursue that endeavor,” he said.
Doughnut lovers can expect to participate in the grand-opening later this summer or fall.
If everything goes as planned, Potts says he would like to see a double grand-opening.
Despite its small size and old-school appearance, L.C.'s Hamburgers has been voted as the “Best in the Northland” and Potts proudly displays that honor inside the restaurant.
Although best known for its old-fashioned hamburgers, L.C’s also serves salads, chicken sandwiches, and Italian steak sandwiches.