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Friday, June 21, 2024

A refurbished Satchel’s Pizza will open June 14 after a fire in February closed the landmark pizzeria for three months.

The restaurant’s kitchen, which suffered about $150,000 in damage, has been redesigned to promote efficiency in serving customers, said restaurant owner Satchel Raye.

“We decided to take the opportunity when we’re down to fix some things,” Raye said. “There were problems with the flow for our employees.”

The restaurant has added a convection oven, a third pizza-making station and two more feet of gas oven space. That’s enough room for two more pizzas, Raye said.

The bar in Raye’s Lightnin’ Salvage junk shop next door has been moved and expanded. The restaurant’s dining room and serving area were undamaged, but have been painted and reorganized.

“We’ve actually added about 200 square feet [to the restaurant],” Raye said.

The restaurant will resume its normal hours of 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. A T-shirt commemorating the fire will be sold starting at the reopening.

Raye expects the restaurant to be fully staffed next week. Only two members of his 50-employee roster won’t be returning to the restaurant.

Jonathan Dickens, a full-time Satchel’s employee for about three years, will return next week. The restaurant gave him three week’s worth of pay from an online fundraising account made for the closed restaurant’s employees.

Dickens said that’s what’s bringing him back.

“Honestly that fund saved my life,” he said. “I would have had my power turned off if it weren’t for that.”

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