De Soto restaurant may close over owner’s issues with landlord

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DE SOTO, Mo. - A De Soto restaurant owner says he may be forced to leave his location over problems with the building and with his landlord.

After three years at this location, restaurant owner Kevin Smith worries he’ll have to close the doors at Fountain City Grille in a space that he rents.

“The roof from upstairs leaks so bad, the rain runs down on my hoods. You can see water damage; it runs all down the side of the wall right there,” he said. “It runs all the way down the back of the wall right here. You can see water damage there. When it rains, it leaks all down my coolers. The ceiling itself, you can see is falling; it’s becoming a safety issue.”

Smith says he’s contacted the landlord about the issues but not much has been done. He says he even went out and bought coolers to avoid problems with the health inspection after the built-in freezers broke.

“I offered to fix it with my own money everything but I can’t do that because the roof leaks so bad and it causes the machine to stop working so I just had to let it go and leave it as is because they don’t wanna do anything about it,” he says.

Smith says he was told at the end of his lease in July he’ll have to leave. Many of his customers were saddened to hear the news.

“Kevin employs a lot of folks from the community to work here,” says one patron. “The high schools use him for giveaways and he’s a big part of the community, which would like to see him stay.”

The landlord would not comment on the situation.

Meanwhile, Smith says he would like to open a new location in De Soto if one becomes available.

“Along with the help of great friends and this great town, we will figure something out,” he said.

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