When the Rollheiser family decided to step away from Tonka Hill Restaurant in Nov. 2018, it felt to many that the lake area had lost an institution. That lost feeling was soon healed, as now owner Travis Cash announced his plans to move to the lake full-time and reopen the restaurant by the end of the year. After months of work and restoration, Cash has officially set the date of December 13 as the reopening of Tonka Hills.

When the Rollheiser family decided to step away from Tonka Hill Restaurant in Nov. 2018, it felt to many that the lake area had lost an institution. That lost feeling was soon healed, as now owner Travis Cash announced his plans to move to the lake full-time and reopen the restaurant by the end of the year. After months of work and restoration, Cash has officially set the date of December 13 as the reopening of Tonka Hills.

Cash says that his team have been focusing on a number of renovations over the last few months. This included making the bathrooms more handicap accessible, changing some interior and exterior design and more. The process has taken longer than Cash originally anticipated, but the end is now in sight.

“It’s been a long process, but I think we’re moving along pretty good,” Cash said.

As a kid, Cash says he remembers coming to the restaurant with his grandparents on the weekends. He says he even came and ate at the spot right before signing the contract on his home at the lake. Little did he know, this would soon be the location that he would adopt to pursue his dream of owning a restaurant.

With this sense of nostalgia built up for Tonka Hills, it was only natural that Cash would go into the redesign process for the space with a desire to maintain the lasting legacy already in place. He says that he spoke with both the Fredericks and the Rollheisers about the entire history of the restaurant to help him compile some aspects of the building he wanted to keep the same.

To keep with tradition, many long time customers of the previous owners will feel familiar when walking into the newly freshened space. Though some obvious new changes will stand out, such as the updated signage out front and an update buffet line inside, the general feel of family dining will be staying the same. He says that he wanted to stress to Matt Rollheiser and his family that the location would be left in good hands and that the legacy that the multiple families before him built would be preserved.

“I wanted them to know that their legacy would continue and I think their hearts are content with that,” Cash said.

Of course, the main aspect of a restaurant is the food being served and Cash says he has many plans to update the existing menu while also keeping the classics. Some of the updates being made include making daily corn beef hash from scratch and bulking the options available for eggs benedict. To those looking for the classics, Cash says that he is taking note of the favorites and planning ahead.

The same goes for the cost of the restaurant, which he says will continue to be competitively priced compared to the rest of the lake diners.

Cash says that he feels a sort of pressure with the opening of the restaurant, as he feels the community has an expectation of quality for Tonka Hills and he doesn’t want to leave anyone feeling let down. At the same time, this has always been a dream of Cash and he says the emotion of the moment is something he is still coming to terms with. All in all, this coming week is one that he has been anticipating for some time.

“My mind has been set on reaching this goal,” Cash said. “Things started to fall into place and I felt like this restaurant was the one. We’re gonna take this leap of faith and jump into it.”

Tonka Hills Restaurant will officially open to the public on Friday, December 13. The restaurant will also host a ribbon cutting with the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce and public tour on Wednesday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.