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One year after fire, restaurant still going strong

By: Samantha Saracino Email
By: Samantha Saracino Email

This time last year, a local restaurant burned to the ground, just before Christmas. Exactly one year later, Touch of Country restaurant is back on it's feet and continues to serve the people of Harlan County.

It only took owner, Darlene Hall, about two months to re-open after the original Touch of County restaurant burned down. She officially re-opened the restaurant in a new building in February, just down the street from the old place.

This is what Touch of County restaurant looked like last year on December 23rd after a grease fire. Owner, Darlene Hall, tried to save it.

"It was too far gone. Once it hit the ceiling the whole place was on fire and the ceiling hit the floor and it was over," Hall explained.

But the fire didn't stop Hall from rebuilding. She re-opened the same restaurant in February, just in a bigger, better building down the street.

"Even though it was devastating and hurt us all when the restaurant burned, it's like god opened a new door. It was a bigger restaurant and I can serve more customers here and all my customers love it here," she said.

"We're in a new building. It's a big, new kitchen. It's stainless steel. It's shiny and a lot easier to clean," said Kathy Davis, a cook at the restaurant.

And the customers keep coming back.

"It's a hometown atmosphere. You got great waitresses, a good owner, a local person. Great food," said Ricky Mcqueen, a frequent customer.

Those at Touch of Country say the transition would not have been possible without their dedicated customers.

"We really appreciate all of the people supporting us, the regulars that come in day in and day out and we hope they keep coming. It's been a lot of hard work, but we've enjoyed it," Davis said.

Touch of Country serves all kinds of country style meals like chicken and dumpling, hamburgers and fries and breakfast, served all day.

Hall says she is happy her business continues to thrive even after the fire and she hopes to expand to other locations in the future.

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