The expression “rising from the ashes” is familiar, but at La Cabana it is anything but cliche.
For restaurant co-owner Chip Holt the words mean everything, he said. They meant a sense of pride and motivation as the Spicewood restaurant bounced back from a Jan. 5 fire to not only reopen but thrive in the last few months, he said.
“The [rebuilt]restaurant changed dramatically, and so far all of the customers seem to be really pleased with the work that we did and the remodel,” Holt said.
The community business was put on hold during the busy lunch hour of Jan. 5 when an electrical fire damaged the eatery, prompting its closure.
Holt said the staff did a good job of clearing out the venue that day and making sure everyone got out safely. Area firefighters extinguished the fire before it grew out of control.
“There were so many things going through [my]mind,” he said. “Do you have good enough insurance? What’s the next step? But right away all of my guys [said], ‘We’ll be here at seven in the morning, we’ll start tearing everything out.’ That’s what happened.”
The community also rallied to help the Holts through a GoFundMe page created to help raising money forLa Cabana’s reopening. But what stood out was the time and elbow grease people donated to help put the business back together, Holt said.
“The fire happened on a Friday, and the next day there were probably 50 people from the community that came up and started moving things out,” Holt said, adding he was also concerned for the welfare of his workers.
Chip estimated he and his wife, Linda, put in an additional $180,000 into La Cabana after the fire. On April 26 the restaurant held a soft opening for friends and family.
Chip said some positives came from the fire, including some new kitchen equipment that helped to make the operation more efficient.
For now La Cabana will also enjoy some catering business during the busy graduation and summer seasons, Holt said.
“It was never a question of if we were going to rebuild,” Chip said. “[It was] when do we start?”