Bon Temps, a popular Cajun restaurant in San Luis Obispo, has reopened after a fire caused up to $100,000 in damage to its interior, owner Phil Lang said.
Despite the gap in service, sales are up 75 percent versus pre-fire numbers, he said.
Lang acknowledges this may be a “honeymoon period,” but it is also true that the colorful interior, painted in purples and yellows, now has the temperature to match its spicy, New Orleans-style food.
The guest book has scores of notes from customers who are happy about the reopening, he said.
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In addition to restoring what was damaged, Lang put $55,000 into refurbishing the interior, which features a higher ceiling and bright new yellow booths and shiny counters.
After the Nov. 30 fire, Lang had initially estimated a three-week turnaround for the restaurant, but dealings with insurance led to delays, he said.
Through insurance assistance, however, he was able to continue paying his employees for four months after the fire, helping him restore the property. And after three months on their own, 10 of the original 13 employees are back.
Bon Temps has occupied the building for 15 years, and “no one has ever asked me to change the menu,” Lang said. So return customers will get the same food, with the addition of fried chicken and fish-and-chips nights.