LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It’s been a struggle for many East Texas restaurants to stay in business during the pandemic, but one is facing an uphill battle after being gutted by fire.
‘Bodacious BBQ’ on 6th street in Longview was damaged by fire almost 3 months ago, and had to close it’s doors.
Working now at Pine Tree middle school, owner Shannon Fell is determined to go back into business.
“It’s kind of. What’s next! You get up the next morning and do what you have to do,” Fell says.
A popular lunch spot, the fire was just two weeks after she reopened the dining room for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Nobody’s life goes as planned, things don’t happen as you want, no matter how hard you work,” Shannon says.
While some businesses have met their end during the Covid period, she has one word for her business.
“Resilient. We’d been doing drive through ever since they had the first initial shutdown of the dining rooms,” she says.
After cleanup and a month-long insurance investigation, Fell, having a dozen employees, had a decision to make.
“I’ve got 2 kids, ones a senior, ones a junior in school so 2 kids fixing to head off to college, so you think, ‘do I get into their college savings to try and rebuild.’ Then you got all those employees that are more of less like your kids,” says Shannon.
Fell said the year has forced her to adapt to changing protocols and now, rebuilding. But she’s determined.
“It’s what you do. We’ll be back. We will be back,” she says.
The restaurant is expected to re-open in mid-January.