Dustin Hundley said when a person has a place to go to work every day, he may take it for granted.

Dustin Hundley said when a person has a place to go to work every day, he may take it for granted.

But the local restaurant owner said the experience of having his business closed for 4.5 months made him learn not to take it for granted.

Hundley is the owner of the Metropolitan Steakhouse, which was closed after the building was damaged in an April 25 fire.

The Leavenworth restaurant re-opened earlier this month after the building was renovated.

Hundley said he and his staff are now reinvigorated.

He said the response from people since the reopening has been overwhelming.

"It's been great," he said.

The steakhouse, which is located across Metropolitan Avenue from the U.S. Penitentiary, re-opened Labor Day.

Hundley said did not advertise the opening but did post something on Facebook. He said the place was packed the day it reopened.

"My customers are part of my family," he said.

With the Metropolitan Steakhouse having originally opened in 2000, Hundley said of a lot of people have grown up at the restaurant, celebrating birthdays and other events there for over the years.

The April 25 fire began on a wooden deck in the back of the restaurant. Hundley said the business was covered by insurance.

He said there was a great public outreach after the fire.
"The whole community was just kind of behind us 100 percent," he said.

People have told him they would drive by the restaurant to watch the progress of the renovation work.

During the renovations, Hundley said the building was "completely gutted out."

"So it was a complete redo," he said.

He said the business previously had been in a former house that was operating as a restaurant. But now it's a restaurant that was set up to be a restaurant. He said the changes allowed room for more tables.

The deck has been rebuilt, and there are plans to add a covered area to the deck.