One year ago, an electrical fire destroyed Valino’s Restaurant on Carolina Beach Road. Last week owners re-opened the restaurant with a new name and a new look.
“It was horrible. I mean to see your whole livelihood go up in smoke was not fun at all,” said owner Donna Schriener.
Donna Schriener and her husband owned Valino’s Restaurant for six years. Last year a fire destroyed their business.
“I felt like I missed my family. It was right around the holidays, it was awful,” said bartender Ashley MacGregor.
Since then, the Schrieners have worked to rebuild the restaurant for themselves, the staff, and their customers.
Last Monday they opened Schriener’s Restaurant and Karaoke Lounge.
“To finally have closure, it’s done, I’ve been through all of this stress and now we’re open. So that was a good feeling,” Schriener said.
The owners say they gave the new restaurant their family name to signify a fresh start, but customers and employees say it’s the connection to the Schrieners that will keep them coming back.
“It’s family. You get to come here and hangout with the same folks and have lunch, have dinner, breakfast is great,” said customer Scot Shutters.
“Everyone came back here to work, which really speaks volumes to what kind of place this was,” MacGregor said.
The new restaurant is a bit more upscale, but has the same menu and karaoke. Customers say despite the new look, the atmosphere hasn’t changed.
Schriener says rebuilding the restaurant wasn’t easy. “It was a very long process. But it was all worth it now, I think.”
The employees would agree. “I felt like a took a nap for a year and just woke up and came back to work. It was great,” MacGregor said.
As for the future of the restaurant, Schriener has a simple plan. “Well hopefully to be here for a while.”
Next year smoking will be banned in restaurants throughout the state, but the Schrieners decided to open as a non-smoking restaurant because they didn’t want to damage the brand new building. They say that has already helped them attract some new customers.