COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Zachary's employees are wondering where to go from here after a weekend fire damaged the restaurant in downtown Columbus.
Doug Pellum, the restaurant's owner, said the fire affected his employees the most.
He said they're hurting, but they're using the fire as a stepping stone to reopen and rebuild the restaurant in a bigger and better way.
Pellum opened Zachary's 18 years ago on May 9, 2001. One year later, he moved the restaurant to its current location at 205 North Fifth St.
For 18 years, the restaurant has supported the community and the community has supported Zachary's, Callie Steenstra said.
As a manager at Zachary's for two years, Steenstra calls the restaurant her home.
"Zachary's is Columbus' best friend. We are so heavily involved in our community," she said.
The work that Zachary's employees have done in the community is what led Steenstra to work there two years ago.
They hold fundraisers for people in need.
On Sunday morning at approximately 5:00, the restaurant caught on fire and sustained a lot of smoke and water damage.
Columbus Fire Department spokesman Anthony Colom said the fire was accidental and deemed it a total loss.
Pellum said the nearby Trotter Convention Center will hold a benefit fundraiser to support the restaurant's employees.
His employees will continue to clean up the building, so contractors can gut the inside and rebuild the restaurant within three months.