EAST AMHERST, N.Y. - It's been more than two years since an Italian eatery in East Amherst burned to the ground but Thursday, they reopen their doors for the first time.
In July of 2015, Carmine's owner Kelly Jacobbi said her business literally crumbled.
Jacobbi said a grease fire started in the kitchen, quickly spread to the rafters, then the attic and an adjoining dining room.
It left the Italian eatery destroyed. Cooking and catering was off the table.
"All of a sudden it was gone," Kelly explained. "And the rebuilding process and getting it back to where it was isn't an overnight thing."
The Jacobbis hoped to reopen Carmine's within a year. They had insurance and assumed they would get help from that.
But weeks turned into months and the Jacobbis said they are still in a lengthy litigation process with their insurance company.
"After the fire, I cried everyday for six months," Kelly said.
But the Jacobbis found a work around. They were able to sell their previous property to Andrews Jewelers and purchase the new spot, about five miles from the original. It is still on Transit but north of Casey Road.
Carmine's 2.0, as they like to call it, hosted a soft opening on Wednesday. They host their grand opening on Thursday.
Inside you will find a fresh new look that still keeps some of the old family feel. Kelly kept part of a mural from the previous Carmine's and had it recreated in the new location.
The menu will also look familiar to returning customers. It is the same chef in the kitchen, whipping up classics like lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs. There are some new items, as well.
"I guess things happen for a reason," Kelly reflected. "And I hope that people love the new Carmine's 2.0."
The new Carmine's opens for regular business on Thursday, October 19, at 4 p.m. They are now located at 9430 Transit Rd in East Amherst.
Find out more on their Facebook page.
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