Cook's Corner to Reopen Following Shooting that Killed 3, Injured 6


Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP / Getty Images

TRABUCO CANYON (CNS) - Cook's Corner, the Trabuco Canyon bar where a gunman killed three people and injured six others before being fatally shot by Orange County sheriff's deputies, will reopen Friday morning, with the manager saying she wants to "bring the family back together."

In a video posted Thursday on Facebook, Cook's Corner general manager Rhonda Palmeri said she's been asked by many people when the venue will reopen following the Aug. 23 shooting.

"We feel it's time to bring the family back together," she said. "We will be opening Friday at 11 a.m. There's so much to say and I just don't know how to say a lot of it. And once again our condolences go out to everybody who was here that evening.

"... We hope that when everybody comes back, they understand that we have been through a lot and there's a lot of things going on internally ... but we want to be here for the community, and we need the community to be here for us," she said.

She said there won't be any live music over the weekend, saying she wants "people to be able to come in and relax and enjoy themselves that way." But she said a team of musicians will be performing at the bar on Monday afternoon.

"We're really looking forward to some good old fashioned music," she said, noting that many of the musicians planning to attend have played at the bar previously or even started their performing careers there.

The shooting occurred about 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at the bar in the 19100 block of Santiago Canyon Road.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said the gunman -- 59-year-old retired Ventura Police Department Sgt. John Snowling -- entered the bar carrying two handguns and walked directly to his estranged wife, Marie, and shot her once.

Marie Snowling was shot in the jaw but survived. She filed for divorce from her husband late last year.

The gunman then shot the woman with whom his wife was dining, 49-year- old Tonya Clark of Scottsdale, Arizona. Clark managed to run outside the bar, where she died.

Also killed were Glen Sprowl Jr., 53, of Stanton, and John Leehey, 67, of Irvine.

John Snowling was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies.

In addition to Marie Snowling, five other people were injured in the shooting, including some members of M Street, the band that was performing that night.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, M Street is planning to perform at a benefit show raising money for Cook's Corner patrons and their families who were impacted by the shooting. The benefit will be held at Biergarten at Old World Huntington Beach, 7561 Center Ave.

Palmeri said another fundraiser is being planned by County Supervisor Don Wagner's office at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Library of the Canyons, 7531 E. Santiago Canyon Road in Silverado.

Cook's Corner is a well-known bar and biker hangout. The building is believed to date back to the late 1800s, although it did not begin operating as a restaurant until the 1920s. The restaurant bills itself as "one of the most famous biker bars in Southern California."

Orange County leaders said that while Cook's Corner is known as a biker bar, it is really a regular gathering place for families and the community, particularly during its weekly Wednesday night $8 spaghetti dinner special, which was occurring when the shooting erupted.

"It's a gathering place," Barnes said. "It's a place for families to go to share a meal. It's a tight-knit community."

The Cook's Corner website has information on how to help the victims still recovering from the tragedy.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content