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Popular Oakland restaurant reopens months after destructive fire

A popular Oakland restaurant that was destroyed in a fire last November reopened in a new location Friday.

The owner and workers at Horn Barbebue say their focus is on the future and that future looks bright.

The line to get into the new restaurant on 8th Street formed hours before the door opened.

Many customers who arrived early, such as Carter Neblett, were well aware the original Horn Barbecue was gutted by a fire Nov. 21, shortly after the restaurant had celebrated its third anniversary. 

“Horn Barbecue is excellent. I went to their last position on Mandela all the time and when I heard they were reopening I was like, ‘I gotta get in line, I gotta get my fix in,’” Neblett said.

The fire erupted just a couple of days after the restaurant was vandalized and the owner, Matt Horn, had publicly criticized the safety of the neighborhood.

On Friday, the Oakland Fire Department said the fire is still under investigation.

“There was times where I didn’t feel we would re-open. And you know, emotionally it just felt exhausting, just the thought of it,” Horn said. “Having to go through all of it again. But you know what? There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”

Neblett said his to-go order was worth the wait.

“I got a brisket, I got the beef ribs, I got Mac-n-Cheese, baked beans, some pulled pork as well. Loaded up today,” Neblett said.

 “It’s absolutely amazing. We’ve been so excited to check this out and it definitely lives up to the hype,” Lupine Roba of San Leandro said.

“We were super sad when we heard about the fire, so we’re really glad that this place is back now,” Courtney Roba of San Leandro said. 

Workers from the original restaurant said they’re happy and grateful to have their jobs back, especially with so many local businesses suffering.

“It’s been tough to see small businesses, restaurants, open up and then close and feel like they have to go operate business elsewhere,” Horn said. “I mean, I think our reopening in the midst of having our restaurant burnt down. I hope that people will see a sense of resilience and have faith that even in the midst of storms and trials there is also going to be calm seas, right?”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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