Crowds flood Red Ginger for reopening
After eight weeks of being shut down, Traverse City's popular Red Ginger restaurant is back for business.
The restaurant opened it's doors for happy hour on Wednesday at 3 p.m.. People waited outside for managers to unlock the doors, while some customers even teased one another about being the first person in.
The lounge and sushi area were full of customers in a matter of minutes. Managers say the reservation books were full for Wednesday dinner and that only a few spots remain for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
On Friday, May 30th, Red Ginger was evacuated after a pillar collapsed around 7:30 p.m. During the incident, no one was injured.
The column that fell in May, has been replaced with a steel column covered by drywall. According to Red Ginger, extra steel support has been added to two other columns to ensure more support.
According to Steve Farbanks, a manager at Red Ginger, 95 percent of their employees stuck with them through the construction period. Farbanks says the restaurant has also gained a few new faces that replaced the employees who left.
Farbanks, and the owner, Pam Marsh say they have been overwhelmed with the customer and community support through the two month process of reopening. Farbanks says there was a time he questioned whether or not they'd even open the doors again.
"About thirty seconds after it happened," said Farbanks. "After it happened when I was covered head to toe in dust, I actually thought I was leaving the building for the last time. So I feel very very blessed."
The State Theatre also wanted to show it's support for Red Ginger. On Wednesday they posted on their marque, "The Calamari is Back."
The restaurant will no longer be open for lunch hours. Marsh says they will be open from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. for happy hour and dinner from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m, Monday through Thursday, and until 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.