Torero's restaurant in Durham reopens for takeout more than a year since gas explosion

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- In trying times for the restaurant industry, a Durham Mexican restaurant is reopening after no shortage of adversity.

Torero's was damaged in the April 2019 gas explosion that killed two people and brought down several buildings in Durham's Brightleaf Square district. It has been closed since then.

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A year after Durham explosion, Torero's 'working hard' to reopen.

"We were going halfway down the dining room when we heard a big explosion," said co-owner Emmanuel Martinez. "We didn't realize it until we saw the big smoke."

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Parts of their roof caved in, their windows were blown out and several of their employees were inside at the time.
"We are very excited to reopen and start serving customers again," Martinez said. "We thought a lot about what measures to put in place to keep our customers and ourselves safe during this pandemic."

Toreros closed amid one crisis but opened during another. The owners say they wouldn't have it any other way.

Customers can pick up their order curbside at the restaurant's Duke Street entrance or come in the restaurant to pick up their order.
Kaffeinate coffee shop owner Kong Lee and Jay Rambeaut, a first responder with Dominion Energy, died in the explosion. The building that hosts Torero's had windows blown out and a wooden panel was damaged.

"Yea Mr. Lee. He was very friendly and we used to see him on a daily basis," said Martinez. "We were very close, we knew him and he knew us and we were sad he passed away."

Once the sign was on customers started pouring in. Torero's is open for take-out and curbside pick up. They're also selling their famous margarita mix.
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