GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – A popular restaurant in Grass Valley is now a pile of rubble and ash, and it could take months to rebuild.
The fire that ripped through the Humpty Dumpty restaurant gutted the building leaving the business that’s been in the family for more than 50 year’s struggling to get back on its feet.
Owners of this Grass Valley staple were forced to watch helplessly as their family business went up in flames.
“We have one lady that’s been working here for 45 years,” said Geanine Hodges, restaurant co-owner.
Geanine’s family started the business in another Grass Valley location in 1962. It’s been in the family ever since.
“Our whole family depends on it; we’re all supported by it,” said Geanine.
The community depends on the Humpty Dumpty Kitchen too.
“It was one of the first places we ate when we first moved up here, and now it’s a place my kids love to come to because they love the pancakes,” said Liz Fjeldheim, a longtime customer.
Humpty Dumpty is so popular that people have been coming back for decades.
“We don’t advertise or anything like that. We have people come in everyday,” said restaurant co-owner Randy Hodges.
“They seem ‘em drive up and their breakfast is ready when they come in,” said Geanine.
But when a fire broke out in the back of the building after closing time last night, that all changed.
“Probably take about 6 months to rebuild it,” said Randy.
“We’ll survive,” said Geanine.
But unlike its namesake, they won’t need all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to this business together again.
“Nah, it’ll take a good contractor and a crew,” said Randy.
It’s a rebuild long-time customers can’t wait to see completed.
“I like the pancakes. They’re good,” said Sven Fjeldheim, a customer.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Owners say they don’t know how their grand-parents came up with the name of the restaurant, but plan to keep it when they reopen.