KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday marks one year since an explosion at JJ’s restaurant claimed the life of server Megan Cramer and changed the lives of countless others. The explosion has been described as a tragic accident that could have been prevented.
One year later, both the physical and emotional scars linger for Jimmy Frantze and his employees who were here that night. As Frantze looked at the burned out and now torn down space where his restaurant sat for 28 years, he thought of one thing.
“We’re all remembering Megan. You know she was a good friend and tremendous worker in the restaurant and we miss her,” Frantze said.
The explosion killed the 46-year-old server and injured at least 15 others. Frantze said it has been a difficult thing to move on from.
“I can’t say that it was easy at first. There were a lot of tears shed, that was 28 years of my life and a lot of other people’s lives,” he said. “And to have it destroyed in this fashion. You know, a fire is a fire, but this was an explosion and a fire that went on for hours before it was put out.”
While time has helped heal some wounds, Frantze said others can never be forgotten.
“I know that the people that were in that structure when it exploded will never forget in their life. I mean, you know it’s just traumatic,” he said.
Frantze said life now moves on and after a year of being out of the only thing he’s ever known, he’s finally ready to announce his plans for the coming year.
“I will say that this year we are going to open a new restaurant. We are going to open a JJ’s,” he said. “JJ’s was 28 years there, hopefully it will be 28 years wherever it is.”
Frantze said he hasn’t signed the lease just yet, so he won’t say where the new JJ’s will be located. He also said it’s a raw space, but the planning has already begun. He hopes it will open this summer.