The East Gate Family Restaurant has been closed since a kitchen fire three weeks ago, but now crews are working to make it better than ever.
When the restaurant went up in flames, it was anyone’s guess when the Henderson staple would be back in business.
Ownership was optimistic.
“We’re opening back up, but it will be a little while. I would love to shoot for two to three weeks, but anyway, we’re opening back up,” said owner Kim Duncan.
Three weeks later, and contractors are still at work, but now the timetable is a little more clear.
“We’re probably looking at maybe a six week period of time to be back up and running, providing all the vendors that I use is able to come in on time and all that,” said Terry Spanhoward, contractor for American Homespec.
“It’s kind of sad to see the older customers come out in the parking lot, and they’re just looking like, why? Like, they don’t have any place to go,” said Ms. Sassy’s Perfect Salon owner Charmain Fellows.
When those loyal customers come back in six weeks, they might be surprised at what they see.
“It could be a blessing in disguise, because everything’s going to get a new facelift in here, you know, and this restaurant has been going since 1960s I guess, you know, so I mean there was areas that probably needed a new facelift, and just make it look a lot nicer,” Spanhoward said.
While the restaurant suffered the brunt of the damage, its neighbors had to adjust as well.
Ms. Sassy’s is eager to see familiar faces.
“Yeah, we’re still not up full throttle like we were, but we’re hoping that with the progress taking place next door, that’ll bring us up a little bit more up to speed as they move along too. And so, we kind of keep moving and just keep spreading the word,” Fellows said.
The Pet Spa didn’t have any fire damage, but losing customers who drop off their pups before grabbing a bite to eat has been a little rough.
“The people see us. That’s why we like this area around here, is because the restaurant is so busy, that keeps people looking this way too, and we have people come after they’ve just eaten, and they say oh, we didn’t know you were here, well I’ve got a dog and I can just like drop it off,” said Pet Spa owner Nancy Thomas.
“It truly does work that way. From, they will stop here, drop their little puppies off, then they will come in here, get a haircut, then they go to breakfast or lunch. Either way it goes, they’re going to pass us and they’re stopping, so we all work together still as a family,” Fellows said.