Tumbleweed location in Salem to reopen after 2014 fire
SALEM, Ind. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana restaurant destroyed by a massive fire will soon reopen its doors.
Salem’s Tumbleweed burned down in September 2014. The fire was believed to have started in the restaurant's attic area.
“It was like 2 a.m. when I got a phone call from the fire chief in Salem,” Tumbleweed General Manager Chris Roy said.
The restaurant employed about 20 people, all of whom were offered jobs elsewhere after the fire, Human Resources Director Kathy Corum said. But the fire forced some employees out of work if they couldn’t travel to get to other Tumbleweed locations.
Others, like Nikki Huffstutler, decided to stay, although she drove an hour to work each day.
“I was kind of in shock," she said. "Maybe part of me was thinking, ‘Oh, they'll get it out. They can fix it.' But it wouldn't go out.”
On Monday, a new Tumbleweed restaurant will open less than a mile down Hackberry Street.
“It does feel like a homecoming,” Corum said. “It's a reunion. We always knew we’d come back.”
Four years later, employees say there’s a silver lining to the tragic fire. They say the restaurant was a staple in a small town with very few options.
“It's mostly fast food," Roy said. "I mean, Tumbleweed was it."
The new building is now double the size of the old one, and the parking lot size and number of employees have more than tripled.
“We would staff [about] 20 people," Roy said. "Now we are staffing 70-plus."
The doors open for brunch Monday.
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