It took 300 days to rebuild what was lost during the wildfires November 28, 2016. Steakhouse set to reopen Monday.
GATLINBURG, TENN. – When the Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg burned to the ground during the Nov. 28, 2016 wildfires, employees thought they lost their jobs right away but the Johnson family took care of every employee.
They sent a majority of them to another Alamo Steakhouse location in Pigeon Forge.
Ashley Williams, a long time employee of the Gatlinburg location, cannot wait to be back to work at a place that feels like family.
“Walking up it does look the same. It’s just like the Alamo and this is still the Alamo just with a facelift,” Williams laughed. “It’s been very exciting though to get to come back here and see it brand new be back home with everybody.”
All but three employees of the Gatlinburg Alamo location will be back to work on Monday.
“It was never really an option not to rebuild. It was never really an option to not take care of our people,” said Kelly Johnson, one of the owners.
She said the day after the fires, they knew they would rebuild.
“When we got to work we didn’t even talk about do you want to rebuild? Should we rebuild? It was when do we think we can reopen?” Johnson said.
The inside of the new restaurant looks different but the outside is the same. There are no more stairs, there are more window seats and a private dining room for customers.
While the fire destroyed their beloved restaurant, it did not ruin two pieces of art that now hang inside again.
“Clearly Gatlinburg is ready and everyone has been ready. People are not faced with the sadness,” Johnson added.