FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "The new part of this area is the new granite, leather granite. We're not doing copper anymore," said Pat LaRocca of FIVE Restaurant pointing out the new changes at the bar,
A rebirth is happening at FIVE Restaurant in northeast Fresno.
Owner Pat LaRocca showed us the changes that have been going on since his building went up in flames and smoke one year ago.
"We came over and couldn't believe our eyes. What was amazing was the community. As I looked out in the parking lot, there was about five or six fire trucks but there was over 100 people there. I kept looking over and I felt like their house burned down as well," La Rocca said.
The fire started in a pizza oven and caused FIVE to shut its doors.
The fire not only gutted the building but it left 50 people without a job. Thankfully local restaurants like the Fansler group, Elbow Room and Ovidios hired them while FIVE was closed.
LaRocca said he had payroll insurance to pay employees who needed to support their families.
They've been eagerly waiting for the rebuilding and watching as a new kitchen went in, ready to work.
"Seventy percent will be back. I'm very fortunate a lot of them are in the kitchen, they are great talented cooks, chefs. They're excited and so am I. I miss them all," LaRocca said.
LaRocca says design changes have been made to the entrance, walls, and bars. They've also opened up the dining area. Also new, the ceiling has been changed to absorb sound.
While the changes are new, LaRocca is hoping to open a new chapter for the restaurant soon.
"September 16 of 2018 was Sunday is when it happened. It was a very sad day for me and my family and I want to make it a good day September 16, 2019, on the one year anniversary to open up," LaRocca said.
He hopes the community which has supported them will return too.
FIVE Restaurant plans to reopen one year after fire in northeast Fresno