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Back in business

After kitchen fire, Family Table Restaurant returns with new improvements

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 3:20 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 3:31 p.m. CDT
Caption
OST photo by AMY HANSEN This section of the Family Table Restaurant has been remodeled.

The Family Table Restaurant is up and running.

Recently, the restaurant had a small broiler fire in its kitchen. The fire was out by the time the fire department arrived, but there had to be tests to make sure everything was cleared and good to go.

"When they ran the tests to get our lines back up and running, they found that we had some gas leaks that were just from the pipes from the building," said Amber Smith, who owns Family Table with her husband Doug. "So, that wasn't a maintenance issue or anything, I think it was just age of the building."

The gas lines had to be replaced throughout the entire building, and this is what spurred the restaurant to be closed for a period of time in December.

Remodeling

By the end of the month, the restaurant was ready to open its doors again with some new surprises in store for its customers.

"We decided that since we were going to be closed, and it's Christmas, we wanted to keep our staff employed and working. So, we decided that we would just do an impromptu remodel at this point in time," Smith said. "Being open seven days a week, there's never an opportunity to get things done. While we were forced to be closed, we definitely took advantage of the time."

There is all new lighting, some walls have been reinforced, the wood has been stripped and restained, buffet top replaced and new counters for storage.

"Basically, just upgraded it visually, and then tried to make things a lot easier for our waitresses to be able to get to the areas they needed storage that we really, really needed," Smith said.

While the majority of improvements have been finished, there will be things that will continue to be worked on as the month of January progresses.

Financially

A question was asked about the temporary closing of the restaurant hurting the business financially.

Smith said the business has insurance, and the most important thing was the staff would be paid during the remodeling period of time.

Getting paychecks to employees during the holiday season was one of the most important things, Smith said.

"If our staff wasn't going to be paid, then we would've pushed as hard as we could to open as fast as we possibly could," she said. "Because our insurance is making sure our employees are covered, then we felt safe to go ahead and get done what we needed to get done."

One of the final things that was replaced before the restaurant reopened was the broiler, and it came in just a few days before doors opened for customers.

Worth it

Now that the restaurant has reopened, Smith said she hopes the public sees how the remodeling investment was worth it for the restaurant.

"We definitely want to reinvest in this place, and in making it a great place," Smith said. "I hope people see that. Really, the main things we did were for the customers who come in to just make it visually better, to make it more comfortable, and we redid our chairs, things like that. We want to make sure we're dong the best to make the place look great, but also that we want our staff to have a great place to work."

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