Rhino's Roadhouse re-opens in Bewdley
A popular restaurant on Rice Lake has opened once again.
Rhino’s Roadhouse re-opened on Thursday evening much to the delight of over 200 people who turned out to dine.
The restaurant that has had a stream of customers for many years caught fire in September and suffered major damage.
Owner Dave Austin had only owned the restaurant since February of 2015 when the fire caught fire due to a discarded cigarette that been smoldering for hours.
Interviewed shortly after the fire was out, Austin said the restaurant would be open by Christmas.
Instead, the trials and tribulations of rebuilding took its toll.
“It was a struggle. I almost gave up,” said Austin, who came out of the kitchen periodically to greet customers and welcome them back.
True to his word, Austin said all the employees would be re-hired and all but one of them is back to work. The other is working elsewhere.
“Ive already told them the better Rhino’s does the better they’ll do because I’m one to give back,” Austin said.
Colin Pearow from Cobourg was having his first meal in the re-opened Rhino’s with Greg Farrell.
“Its a new beginning,” Pearow said. “To me this was almost meant to be because this is for him.”
Pearow said the new Rhino’s looks amazing, and the food is great, but the one thing that makes a Rhino’s the place that it is is the promise Austin gave to his staff.
“It looks great, but I’m glad the same staff is here,” Pearow said. “I’ll be back here every weekend.”
For Austin, he’s happy he and is staff are back to work. The bar has been relocated along with the washrooms and inside the restaurant was completed renovated.
“We tried to keep it the old style, but it was pretty hard at times,” Austin said.
Austin said the support from the staff, community, township, building inspector and fire department has been tremendous.
“Its an icon,” Austin said. “All the food is homemade and the staff take great pride in their jobs.”