ANDERSON — After being closed for almost a year due to extensive fire damage, Captain D’s restaurant was back open Monday to a large crowd.
With a new beach-themed interior, store owner Troy Knight said he was excited to finally get back to running a restaurant.
“I can say that it’s easier to run a restaurant than build a restaurant,” Knight said. “We’re just happy to be back open and get back to some normalcy.”
It’s been a long process since Knight’s store burned down in January 2013. Because of the extensive damage, investigators were not able to determine what had caused the blaze.
It was a long process for Knight in rebuilding the restaurant and it was a long time spent waiting for some of his regular customers.
Bob Rigsby and Carl Huffman said they used to go to Captain D’s for lunch almost every day for about five years. They said it was disappointing when the fire destroyed their favorite meeting place.
“It’s a good place to be,” Rigsby said. “It’s exciting to have it back.”
Huffman said it’s been a long year waiting for their favorite restaurant to reopen. He said they usually go there because of the variety Captain D’s offers on its menu.
That variety is something Knight is looking forward to as the restaurant starts serving customers again. He said the restaurant will be offering a lot of healthy options that people usually can’t get at a fast-food restaurant. He said they have many new menu options where you can get fish broiled or blackened instead of deep-fried. It will also be available to customers on the go.
“It’s something you can get at the drive-thru,” Knight said. “You can get blackened salmon on a bed of rice with green beans.”
Knight was very thankful of the support he’s gotten from the community during the rebuilding process. He said both the Captain D’s community and the Anderson community have been behind him from the beginning and he was very grateful.
He held a grand re-opening ribbon cutting with members of the chamber of commerce before the store officially opened.
“All of the local businesses here on the north side of Anderson have been very supportive of me,” Knight said. “It’s been overwhelming the amount of community support.”
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith, who attended the ribbon cutting, was also the first person to order food at the new restaurant. He said he appreciated Knight’s determination to stay in Anderson and continue to bring jobs to the area.
After the ribbon cutting, Smith decided Captain D’s was a great place to have lunch, which led to him being first in line.
And the first thing Smith ordered? The Big Fish sandwich, which Smith said was delicious.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.