Posted: Jul 26, 2013 1:46 PM by Patrick Rawlings, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jul 26, 2013 6:30 PM
COLUMBIA - José Jalapeños will reopen Friday less than 24-hours after a fire engulfed materials on the roof over the restaurant.
"We're gonna open tonight," said Megan Hernandez, co-owner of José Jalapeños. "We just got our approval."
Evacuation of the restaurant began soon after customers saw smoke Thursday night.
"I called 911 and then proceeded to evacuate the restaraunt and Lazer Lanes, and get our customers out," said Hernandez. "By the time we got outside that's when it wasn't just smoke, it was flames."
"Roof company fixed the roofing over there," said co-owner José Hernandez. "Something they messed up, that's what it was."
Watching the flames loom over their business was difficult for both. The restaurant opened on May 3.
"It's heartbreaking," Megan Heranandez said. "We've spent many years preparing for it, and to sit back and watch it go up in flames, not knowing if you're going to be able to reopen."
"This business is hope...Columbia has welcomed us so much. Just yesterday standing with our customers they were wanting to hold our hands."
Megan Hernandez is expecting her second child.
"Well, opening a restaurant is like giving birth, so we're just going to do it twice in the same year."
For José Hernandez, the restaurant means a better life for his family.
"That's my family number one, so that's why it's a lot for me. And I worked for my whole life before I married," he said. "I got a dream to take care of my son, and my daughter's coming soon. That's why it means a lot for me."
Both owners said the restaurant will be open for business Friday night and look forward to welcoming customers back.
"Everthing's good," said José. "We hope to see them again."
The Hernandez's are unsure of the cost of the damage.