J.R.'s Old Packinghouse back open after fire 8 months ago

By Lauren Verno, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2017, 3:33 PM EST

Sarasota’s J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe is back open after a fire eight months ago almost destroyed it for good. 

The fire destroyed the inside of the building. The entire place needed to be cleaned out from top to bottom.

Now, thousands of dollars and plenty of support later, loyal patrons are back, "because the food is good. J.R.'s is awesome and the atmosphere is fantastic," customer Butch Power said.

Owner J.R. Garrus said it would have been very easy to call it quits.

"Everyday people kept asking me, 'When are you going to be open?' That kept me going," Garrus said.

Most of the customers said J.R.'s is a weekly tradition, and they're excited to have it back. 

"You walk in here, everyone greets you, all the waitresses are still here. It's wonderful," Pete Delise said. 

With all the support and encouragement, Garrus said he had no choice but to bring the place back. 

"I don't own it, they do. They're the ones that feed it. I just make sure that it happens," he said.