Paddy's Pub in Fayetteville reopens after arson

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville bar damaged in a fire in 2015 is finally reopening Wednesday night.

Paddy's Irish Pub on Raeford Road suffered heavy smoke damage from a fire that destroyed neighboring Maverick's Saloon. The person who set the fire is still on the loose.

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Calling the past 12 months a tough year for owner Paddy Gibney doesn't begin to describe his struggle to rebuild his pub.

On Sept. 9, 2015, someone fire-bombed Maverick's Saloon. It was suspected the fire was retaliation after a Saloon bouncer beat up a customer. No arrests have been made.

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While the blaze destroyed the Saloon, the heat and smoke caused a lot of damage to Paddy's Pub next door. Instead of moving, Gibney vowed to rebuild.

Employees stocked the bar Wednesday while work crews completed last-minute painting and building projects.

Gibney, who is now an American citizen, says he never thought of rebuilding somewhere else. He said he's had a lot of help and encouragement. He says for him, this reopening is his American dream.

"It's going to be a great night!" Gibney told ABC11. "Got a lot of people coming from all over the place. I was trying to keep the reopening low-key, because we did not want to open with any fan fare, because we are a small spot. But people are coming from all over. It's going to be a lot of shaking hands."

The doors open at 6 p.m. and Gibney will pour the first beer. He expects a big crowd of loyal customers who have waited 12 long months for this moment.

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