Locals should soon have their old downtown Hermiston hangout open again.
After several months of reconstruction after a fire damaged much of the Hales Restaurant in June, the East Main Street business is set to reopen the first week of October.
An early morning fire June 21 started after material was left on a burning cooking surface.
The flames spread to the attic before Hermiston Fire and Emergency Services extinguished the flames. The restaurant closed, and many employees sought work elsewhere in the meantime.
Co-owner Dana Bonney said Thursday she is excited for the restaurant and tavern to reopen but wishes the place could have been more apart of summer festivities in and around Hermiston.
Weve missed out on the (Farm-City Pro) Rodeo and downtown Hermiston Fun (Fest), she said.
She said the Bonneys received a call from the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce to see if they could send customers from the Pendleton Round-Up their way.
Wed love to be there (for Round-Up customers), she said. Its pretty hard to miss out on.
Bonney said after smoke from the fire caused significant damage, construction crews gutted the place over the summer.
Were trying to recycle anything that we can, Dana Bonney said.
Both Ford and Dana Bonney were optimistic at the time of the fire they would reopen this year and remain excited to serve the public again.
The couple doesnt plan to pull out all the stops for a grand reopening, however.
Were not going to make a big deal about it, Dana Bonney said. Were just going to open the door and hope for the best. Its been a long haul, especially for the (employees).
She said customers returning to the establishment can expect some new featured accompanying the familiar ones, however, when the Bonneys reopen Hales.
Itll have some new twists and some old twists, she said.