The Junction Restaurant and Lounge, a local and regional favorite in the Mark Twain Lake area, will reopen next month.

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New owners Corey and Alex Fry announced the reopening date of April 15. What’s really special about the Fry’s purchase is it means the business will stay in the family. Corey’s cousin Tyler Smith who owned the restaurant since 2006, died last December at the age of 53. Corey worked at the Junction for 25 years, most of that time under the leadership of his cousin.

“After the passing of Tyler, which was heartbreaking my wife and I, we decided to purchase The Junction because it needed to stay in the family and the community needs it up and running,” Corey told me. “I have always enjoyed cooking in the restaurant. It’s my passion and I feel like I can bring the quality of food back at a reasonable price. We are looking forward to this new adventure and making Tyler proud.”

The opening is especially exciting in Ralls County because it will bring back between 50 and 80 jobs that were lost when the restaurant closed in Perry this January. The April 15 reopening date means the area can cash in the tourists who will make their way back to the Mark Twain Lake area for spring fishing and the summer boating season. The Junction Restaurant and Lounge is a favorite among locals, but it’s also popular with the tourist crowd.