(WBRZ News 2) Nearly two years after flames tore through the restaurant, Dearman's Soda Shop, is opening its doors back up.
The 1950's-themed burger joint has been a staple of the capital city for more than 50 years. Customers were delighted with the news as lunchtime rolled around Sunday.
"Just by chance we happened to drive by," first customer, Jason Hebert, said. "Saw the people and said let's go get a burger."
Manager, Casey Evans, says the last 21 months have been filled with ups and downs.
After the fire in March 2016, problems with the property owner put the restaurant's lease in jeopardy.
"The building complex was looking to see what else was out there," Evans said. "If they wanted Dearman's or something else. They landed on us."
The dining room looks nearly identical to the previous model. Keeping the nostalgic feel was important to Evans during the rebuilding process. "I think it's vital," Evans said. "I think that's part of the charm of the place."
The restaurant has received all of its permits. Paperwork has been completed. Now it's back to the business of making hamburgers and shakes.
Hebert already knows what to order: "Just an old-fashioned cheeseburger and french fries, with some gravy on them."