CALUMET — A popular restaurant in Houghton County is back open after months of renovating following a fire in their building. Here’s ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen.
Walking into Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant in Calumet now, you’d never know just much damage had been done. Last September, a small fire ignited in an upstairs apartment.
That fire quickly spread until local fire departments stopped it before it got too far out of hand. Though the restaurant underneath did not catch fire. the thousands of gallons of water used to put it out did a lot more damage than owners Jerry and Sandra Mitchell first thought.
Carmelita’s Restaurant Co–Owner Jerry Mitchell said, “We thought, when it first started, ‘well, we’ll just clean up and we’ll be back open in maybe three or four days’. Well, it was three months before we actually got open.”
Over the next few months, they put in new hardwood flooring, light fixtures and drywall. While they were at it, they also replaced the back of the bar as well as other much needed improvements. But besides the building, they also took care of the people who work in it.
Mitchell said, “All of our employees went on unemployment—those that could go on. The other ones, we had them working here because we knew they needed money. So when we were doing our rebuilding, we employed as many employees as we could to do the rebuilding process.”
Mitchell expressed his thanks to the fire crews that saved his restaurant, a sentiment his customers also share.