Maine Shooting Survivors and Business Owners Overcome Tragedy to Reopen

Following the deadliest mass shooting in Maine’s history, the owners of a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston have made the decision to reopen their businesses. Just-In-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille initially considered permanent closure after the tragic shooting incident on October 25, 2023, which claimed the lives of 18 people. However, with the support of their families, the Lewiston community, and people from across the country, the owners have decided to move forward.

Kathy Lebel, the owner of Schemengees Bar & Grille, had a personal connection to the establishment as she loved playing pool. When her husband mentioned that the bar was up for sale, Lebel immediately expressed her desire to buy it. Despite facing health challenges and the loss of her work partner, Joe Walker, in the shooting, Lebel decided to reopen the bar at a new location, keeping the original name.

Similarly, Samantha Juray and her husband Justin, owners of Just-In-Time Recreation, have been working towards reopening their establishment. They have been renovating the premises to create a new atmosphere that will not remind visitors of the tragic event. The couple received support from the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, which waived fees, provided equipment upgrades, and sent Christmas gift cards to their employees.

The decision to reopen these businesses comes as other establishments affected by mass shootings have taken different approaches. Some have changed their names or been transformed into memorials. However, Lebel and the Jurays believe that reopening their businesses will provide a safe space for the community to come together and heal.

Among the survivors is Tom Giberti, an employee at Just-In-Time Recreation, who is credited with saving several children during the shooting. Despite sustaining injuries, including a bullet lodged in his knee, Giberti is eagerly awaiting the reopening of the bowling alley.

The owners of both establishments hope to reopen in March or April, with the support of their dedicated staff and the resilient Lewiston community.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. I appreciate the author’s update on the reopening of the bowling alley and bar in Lewiston after the tragic mass shooting. However, I would like to know more about the owners’ decision-making process. What factors influenced their decision to reopen their businesses? Did they consult with the community or seek advice from local authorities? It would be interesting to understand their perspective and how they plan to address any concerns or fears that patrons may have.

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