The Forge Steakhouse and CyberFire Lounge are family owned and operated businesses that are not currently affiliated with any other locations. Both businesses are owned and operated by John and Amber Thomas. The Thomas's have lived in Morton for over 10 years. John has two daughters from a previous marriage. Kira, who works at The Forge; and Jenna who is serving in the US Navy. Amber and John have a preschool aged son named Finley who can be seen running around the restaurant from time to time.
Amber suffered a debilitating stroke after a chiropractic neck adjustment in January 2017 just weeks after turning 38. Amber miraculously survived and has beaten all odds to recover since that day. She has right limb function and communication losses, but continues to work hard to recover. Caterpillar was a big part of who Amber was. She had worked at Cat for 15 years, and was a second generation Cat employee following in the footsteps of her father, Mike Cantonwine. Amber travelled the world working for Cat, and even attended Junior High School in Japan due to her dad's career. Unable to return to work following her stroke was difficult for her, and to this day she wants to go back to work. John began looking at options to start a business after Amber's stroke in an effort to travel less, and find something that he and Amber could do together. After a few years of research and soul searching the Thomas's decided to open The Forge Steakhouse and CyberFire Lounge. John had worked for Cat for over 12 years and left there in the summer of 2019 to focus on opening their restaurant.
"Amber and I had been blessed with great jobs in various marketing groups within Caterpillar, and with those jobs, we travelled.... a lot. Some of our favorite experiences from those travels can be found in what we offer at The Forge and CyberFire. We wanted to do something unique."
Amber still describes it as exciting and scary. She can be found walking the rooms of the restaurant several days a week, saying hi to guests and pointing out things that need to be done by the staff. John and Amber are excited to add their business to downtown Morton, to add to the history of the Morton Blacksmith Shop, to be providing jobs in their community, and to be serving Morton and the surrounding area.
From L to R:
Jenna Thomas, Zach Corley, Kira (Thomas) Corley, Amber Thomas, Finn Thomas, John Thomas