The owners of Bahama Bob's Beach Side Café in Gulf Shores hope to reopen in March after a fire caused extensive damage to the building last summer.
In July, a dumpster fire, likely caused by a vape, spread to the roofline of Bahama Bob's. Charles Spellman, one of the three business owners, told 1819 News that spray foam helped slow the spread of the fire but also left behind a black film that caused damage.
"There is very little damage in the building, structure-wise," said Spellman. "Most of that was outside, and it was cosmetic. Most is electrical work that is slowing us down."
Spellman said he is working with structural and electrical engineers to get the work finished. Due to the building being an old structure, he had to work with the city of Gulf Shores on permits to make repairs, but construction is now officially underway.
While there isn't an opening date set in stone, Spellman said his loyal customers and employees will be happy to know they are hoping to be back in business this March.
"We've been here for a long time, and it's become a regular local establishment, especially if you're going to the beach," Spellman said. "You can come get some food and a drink then go to the beach, and we have been hearing from everybody they want us to open."
"They're our friends," Spellman continued. "They're like our second family. We have regulars that live around the restaurant that eat there twice a day, seven days a week. Right now, we have really been hearing about it because our snowbird regulars are down here."
After the fire, Bahama Bob's employees were able to get jobs at other places, but Spellman said he hopes most of them will be able to come back when they reopen.
"We're like one big dysfunctional family sometimes, but most of our staff has been here for 10 years or more," Spellman added. "We work real well together and just know each other and what each other is doing."
There will be some minor changes and additions to the menu when Bahama Bob's reopens, but Spellman said they still plan to serve customers that feel good, beachy feeling they've always had.
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