For more than 65 years, Kingfisher Inn had been a destination restaurant with thousands of people supporting it each year.
The waterside restaurant has been closed since September 2006, and now it will be auctioned in a sheriff’s sale Jan. 15.
The original building was constructed by George King in 1940, with only a handful of people owning it the past six decades.
Bob and Kathy Sprowls of Marion purchased it in 1980.
In 1989, the building was expanded — nearly doubling in size.
The restaurant was a common feature in magazines and newspaper articles as being a popular destination attraction.
Numerous people came for meals at the restaurant with some falling in love with the area and moving to Marion or the lake.
In September 2004, the Sprowls decided to close the restaurant because the couple found it difficult to make ends meet, particularly during the winter months.
With the support of private investors, Jim and Tina Novak bought and opened the restaurant as Kingfisher Steakhouse and Lounge in December 2005. Unfortunately, the business closed less than a year after it opened.
The property was for sale with no takers. An auction was held but the desired price was not obtained, so it did not sell.
An online auction was held in March 2008, and the building and everything inside were sold. Unfortunately, the new owners could not obtain a clear title to the land and building, so the sale of the property was not finalized.
Now the once-popular regional landmark again will be auctioned to the highest bidder at 2 p.m. Jan. 15 at Marion County Courthouse.
Marion and lake community residents are hopeful the now-vacant business soon will reopen and once again become a visitors’ destination.