Clean up is finally underway at a Dallas restaurant strip which was gutted by fire nearly four months ago on Greenville Avenue. Terilli’s and several other businesses were all destroyed in the early morning blaze March 2nd.
A lawsuit and city red tape delayed debris removal. Now, a contractor is working to save the exterior walls of the 1930’s building for a restoration project.
"The object for this is to save the facade. And to bring it back to its state around the 1950 mark as far as the exterior appearance," said Steve Smith with Denco Construction Specialists. "Of course inside, the benefits will be that the restaurants will be brand new. So we’re going to get the best of both worlds."
Neighbors watching the work Thursday were relieved to hear about the restoration plans. "It’s the character of Greenville and it’s good to see because this is what Greenville is," said resident Christian Ryan. "It’s not brand new buildings, every house has character, this building especially. It’s been around for a long time. It’s great to see."
Many neighbors were concerned that the heavy fire damage would lead to leveling of the site. "I would hate to see just a Starbucks and a pharmacy come in on the lot," said resident Charlie Floyd. "That’s what we were all worried about when it burned down, is that they were just going to scrape it clean and build something really generic that didn’t fit with the character of the neighborhood."
The owner of Terilli’s hopes to open again by January in the location where she first started 25 years ago. "I built the restaurant, and I’m excited to have a rebirth after 25 years," said Jeannie Terilli.
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