Island Cow restaurant owners help out employees and attempt rebuild after fire

SANIBEL, Fla. — For the first time since the fire, NBC2 spoke with owners Elke and Brian Podlasek. They are still shocked over what happened, and are overwhelmed by the support.

“You know a lot of people were really personally attached to this place,” said Brian.

The Podlaseks have plans in the works to rebuild the restaurant.

“Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t really look a whole lot different after we rebuild it,” said Brian. “Just time to put some new faces and new memories on the walls you know.”

They hope to open the doors again in less than a year.

“The sooner we get at it, the sooner we can get it rebuilt,” says Brian.

In the meantime, they are collecting monetary donations for their staff. Go to the website Put it on Pete’s Tab and scroll down to #HelpTheHerd.

“Every little bit helps,” said Brian. “Hopefully, we can raise some money for probably the people that need it the most right now and dare I say the best staff I’ve ever worked with.”

They are also looking to replace some of the iconic cow decorations and local pictures on the walls. The Podlasek’s are asking anyone with any pictures of themselves at the Island Cow with family to send it their way.

“It’d be fantastic if we could get some new pictures, we’ll get them framed,” said Brian. “Cow junk is also appreciated!”

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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