VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - A promise made 28 months ago to rebuild has been kept. When The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint burned to the ground in February of 2012, members of the Orrison family were devastated. They quickly recovered, and began the job of rebuilding not only the restaurant, but their lives, as well.
After the initial shock wore off, it was time to dig in for co-owner Brad Orrison.
"I knew that we were going to keep all the employees and myself with a job... then I realized, guess what, I know how to work and I've got the best crew in the business. So we went right to work that day," Orrison recalled.
Of all the things that the fire took at The Shed, perhaps the most painful was the quirky memorabilia, certainly a signature of this restaurant, something that customers loved. But now, most of it is back, according to Orrison.
"Our customers have brought in, literally, some of the same pieces. Some of the same license plates that we had were off the front of the vehicle, so they brought them in from the back of the vehicle."
While The Shed is famous for its food, music comes in a close second, according to co-owner Brooke Lewis.
"We have music Wednesday through Sunday every week. It not only helps to give the Mississippi Gulf Coast people a place to really hang out in a family atmosphere and see a really good blues band, but it really attracts tourism," Lewis said.
Longtime employees were right there with the family, rising from the ashes. One of them is kitchen manager Scott "The Man" Zink.
"We never really doubted that we'd get back to this point, it was just how long it would take? Luckily, we had the festival carts to keep us in business while we were trying to build this. So yeah, I don't think there was even any doubt that we would come back," Zink said.
And Orrison said the job isn't finished.
"We are going to put a floor in, because we still have the gravel floor, but people love that part also. And we're also going to build a playground for the kids."
For now though, making food and making new memories is a winning recipe that means a very bright future at The Shed.
By the way, The Shed was just hired to cater an event in New York City in the near future. The client? Former mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.