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W. Knoxville restaurant plans to reopen Friday after fire

11:42 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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Nine days since a popular West Knoxville restaurant was scorched in an suspected arson fire, the doors will reopen Friday.

"I think we all came together as a team," said Brie Sison, a waitress at the Texas Roadhouse off Morrell Road. "I mean I was really upset; this is like a second home."

Damage at the business was mostly found around the front entrance, at many booths, and in part of the kitchen. However, the entire building had soot and ash, and had to be cleaned from top to bottom for customers.

"It's been pretty quick, the construction guys worked hard to get it done quickly and in a fashionable matter," said manager Amanda Cramer.

However, losing out on business could not come at a worst time for Texas Roadhouse. During the Christmas season, tables would be usually be filled with customers, many coming and going from the nearby West Town Mall.

For Sison, it was hundreds of dollars in profits she needs to pay her bills -- gone.

"I would've been in trouble. I would've have bills that would've come out of my bank account would've been negative," Sison said.

"It's Christmas time, it's hard -- especially for our servers and hosts who rely on that cash to get Christmas money," Cramer added.

Cramer could not put a final dollar amount to the total damage in the equipment, furniture, and building, but said it is in the "tens of thousands of dollars."

Still, workers are ready to regain some of those holiday profits

"We're ready for people to come see us!" Sison smiled.

As a way of saying thanks, when the West Knoxville restaurant opens Friday, 10-percent of all profits will be going to the Knoxville Firefighters association. Also, the Morrell Road Texas Roadhouse will be giving a free lunch to all local firefighters that day.

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