CARY, N.C. (WTVD) --A popular Cary restaurant opened its doors again Wednesday after a fire gutted the business nearly six months ago.
This is what happened when someone threw a cigarette outside the On The Border in the middle of the night back in November.
"It went underneath the patio and the patio was wood with gas lines under it, so once it caught fire there was no stopping it," said On The Border's service manager, Chris Robinson.
The smoldering shell of a building was all that was left.
"The smoke was so thick, that our money that was in our office, the money inside the safe smelled like smoke," Robinson explained. "So we have to gut the inside of this place to the studs and start all over."
After a devastating fire, some companies choose not to rebuild. But for On The Border, that was never an option. The restaurant even transferred its employees to the north Raleigh location.
"When we closed, we had 63 [employees]," said Robinson. "We kept 50 of them, so that's after five and a half months, that says a lot about how much they enjoy working here, and a part of the community that this restaurant is."
"For the first time in Cary's history, more people are coming in town to work every day than leaving," said Delancy Carroll, Senior Vice President of the Cary Chamber. "So when you open, or reopen, a business like this, as I mentioned, you're giving people an opportunity to be employed."
The store's reopening gives people like Mickey and Beth Gorman a place to eat their favorite Mexican food.
"We love this place. We've been coming here since the day they opened," Beth Gorman said. "We were emailing constantly, checking on the date to reopen."
And the Gormans weren't the only ones. When the doors opened Wednesday, there was a line to get in.
"I'm going to have the sizzling fajitas," Beth Gorman said excitedly.
Because of the rebuild, Cary's location is the newest design for any On The Border in the country. Now, it's a prototype for what others will look like and offer.
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