Denton, N.C. -- The Classic Family Restaurant in Denton will reopen Friday, two and a half years after it was destroyed by a fire.
Customers stopped by Thursday to take peek inside, saying they were thrilled the buffet-style restaurant would soon be back in business.
“We live in Albemarle, so we’re a long way. This is a long drive for us, but it’s worth it,” said Becky Callahan.
The restaurant closed after a three-alarm fire in December 2016 destroyed the building.
“We were devastated. We came here on a regular basis, and I think a lot of people did," Thea Oglesby said. "It was sad to see it happen, but God works things out for a reason, and it looks like they’re going to open up bigger and better than ever.”
The owner, Mark Smith, and his family spent their Fourth of July holiday putting the final touches on the restaurant at their new location off NC 109.
He said they hosted first responders and community leaders Wednesday as a way to thank them for their support.
Smith said that at least 20 employees would be returning to the new location.
Customers say they're looking forward to familiar dishes at the Classic, including a wide ranging buffet and short orders.
“We came at least once a month, at least. And it was always packed,” Callahan said.
“We just like their food. It’s good country cooking, and there’s no way you can eat everything they say you can eat,” Wally Holsten said.
The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. on Friday.