Monday, August 8, 2011

So Very Fortunate

Last night, after leaving the restaurant for the day tired, my husband and I opted for Chinese takeout.
This was one of the packages of fortune cookies in our bag.
I would say it sums everything up nicely. We are very fortunate. Doubly so.
My glass is half full and my cup runneth over.
To everyone who sent emails and well wishes and prayers, they were heard, they were answered and we are so very grateful for them all and for you all!

As promised, here is a little chronicle of the past 2 weeks with some before and after shots.

On Monday afternoon, 7/25 at about 4 PM we had a fire at our restaurant.
The beer keg cooler overheated and started a fire which burned the bar which had a heavy resin coating and sent up incredible black smoke and soot which was sucked into our HVAC system and sent to every corner and crack in the restaurant. ( to clarify, we are closed on Mon and Tues, no one was there, no one was hurt)
We reopened Weds. 8/3
8 days later

The hot spot.
The fire itself was contained very quickly thanks to the quick response of the alarm system and the efforts of several local volunteer fire companies

A local carpenter/cabinet maker, Donny White, came out that evening as soon as the fire was out and took the old bar top home with him to make a template and a new bar top.
The cedar was replaced on the front and sides as well
Ray and I had to go buy new barstools, lights, shelving, cash register and countless other items lost in the fire.

My husband and SIL setting the new bar top.
the walls behind them had to be painted as well, with a new hand sink and towel dispenser on the wall.

The bar ceiling with melted vents, lights and water spray from the firehoses 7/25

After the disaster cleanup company had a go at cleaning it, it was determined on weds eve that it all had to be replaced. My husband, SIL and a few friends tore it out Thursday morning, had the wood delivered thursday late morning and began putting it back up.

On friday the cleanup team continued to clean the remaining woodwork.

7/25 bar ceiling and walls

7/28 same walls

We reopened weds 8/3  a mere 8 days of cleanup and renovations.
When asked, I tell everyone we worked 48 hours a day to get it done

Ductwork over the waitress station after fire 7/25

Same area 7/28

same area 7/30 new ductwork starting

4 of them to move the old ice maker out, it was running and sucked all the soot in too.

New one in and running

Glancing from the front entryway towards the bar through the dining room. 7/25 right after the fire. the firefighter is taking pix as well. Notice the water he is standing in and the reflections on the floor and carpet.

The tedious job of removing all the flexible ductwork from the ceiling and replacing with new. looks like some undersea adventure.

Getting ready for the fabricated metal ductwork to begin.
Everything has been removed from the shelves and some from the walls that had to be carried to a different location to be cleaned and brought back to us. Decoys, oyster cans, all manner of antiques and memorabilia.

That man right there in the grey is my hard working husband and one of the main reasons we re-opened so fast . They worked tirelessly in the unbearable heat for hours and hours to get the job done in record time. Notice the duct tape on the finger of our friend Aaron, no time for first aid.

He looks like Rodin's the Thinker here but he is actually on the cell phone taking care of business in what we jokingly referred to as his new office!
Coolers of water and gatorade were everywhere.

Tom (on the right) from Tom's Refrigeration was cut from the same cloth. He and his crew replaced 3- 10 ton air handlers, all the flexible and fabricated ductwork and a new ice machine and hooked it all up and had it running in a week!

Josh from BBS sheet metal was a metal master and a blessing for sure!

Paul from Elvie's electric replaced our outlets, ceiling fans(4) all the hanging bar lights, switches and fluorescent lighting and emergency lighting.

My parents, who were nearing the end of their summer visit, helped early on in the initial cleanup and inventory and in the final 2 days were our go getters extraordinaire, running to the stores for everything from more lights and bulbs to flyswatters and clocks. They were indispensable.
Not pictured but hard at work with us was our son and daughter who took off from their jobs a few days to help, numerous employees, my nephew, who all came out to help in the cleanup. In the first few days i was busy working and not taking many pix and unfortunatley don't have any of when they were there.
 But I can see you all in my mind's eye and you will remain in our hearts forever.
Thank you, God Bless and We Love You.
Now, let's EAT!


  1. You and your husband are truly blessed to have a wealth of friends and family to help you through such an ordeal. That is a good sign of what good people the two of you are. May your wealth continue to grow.

  2. Teamwork!! So happy you were able to get things back in shape so quickly! Someday we'll make it down to eat :)

  3. Fantastic news!!
    You are truly blessed by having such fantastic family and friends.
    I am so glad to know that everything is up and running again.

  4. What a great group of friends and workers! I can't belive it was all done in 8 days--that's amazing!

    I love that you can see the good in all this. You are truly blessed!

  5. Totally amazing Laura, what a transformation. Looks like everybody around worked their behinds off!!

  6. It's heart warming to see how you all pulled together and got this done. Such hard work with such great reward. I am very happy you are back in business!

  7. Laura, it is incredible to know your restaurant, then to see the awful damage, and then to see it restored again! I am so thankful that everyone pulled together and brought Ray's Shanty back to life again. Such perseverance and team work. I hope to visit again some day - those hush puppies are calling my name! :-)


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