Claremore Restaurant Helps Employees Who Lost Jobs In Molly's Landing Fire

Family of the owners of Molly’s Landing say 22 employees lost their jobs, and it couldn’t happen at a worse time with Christmas just weeks away.

Tuesday, November 28th 2023, 6:09 pm

By: Cal Day


People are stepping up to help employees who are now out of a job after a fire destroyed a popular restaurant along Route 66.

Family of the owners of Molly’s Landing say 22 employees lost their jobs, and it couldn’t happen at a worse time with Christmas just weeks away.

Carla Gibson opened Gibby C’s Scratch Kitchen in Claremore six weeks ago. Her journey to restaurant owner includes a one-year waitressing stint at Molly’s Landing.

“It was just one of a kind,” she said. “You went there for the atmosphere and the steaks because you could cut it with a fork.”

Gibson says she was devastated to learn about the fire that destroyed much of the building and left one person dead. She wondered how she could help and thought of offering jobs to the employees who lost their workplace.

So far, she’s hired 4 kitchen employees.

“They’re used to being together,” she said. “I know that’s important to them because a lot of people have worked together for years. I want to kind of add some of that and keep that comfort level for them to stay together if I can.”

That type of community support is much appreciated by Lyslie Lewellen, who met her husband while working at Molly’s Landing years ago. Lewellen says her husband is now a part-owner, and the fire came at the worst time, with Christmas quickly approaching.

“Traditionally, they make more money during the holiday season,” said Lewellen. “They work all year long for these five weeks. This is really, really hard.”

Lewellen says the employees worked together for years and are more like a second family. That’s why she started an online fundraiser, to which more than $14,000 has been contributed.

“I knew that they were hurting,” said Lewellen. “They didn’t have anything else going on. I couldn’t do anything else for them other than this.”

A link to the GoFundMe page can be found here.

Lewellen says an account has been opened at Commerce Bank for people to donate to Molly’s Crew. The state fire marshal ruled the fire accidental but has not released any other information.

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