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Popular Florence restaurant makes a comeback after destructive fire, COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - A popular Florence restaurant is ready to rise from the ashes.

Mike and Cheryl Tayara operated Orangeland Seafood Restaurant and Fish Market on Irby Street for 38 years. Last October, the couple watched their livelihood burn to the ground.

“A compressor sparked surrounded by a wither wall, and it sparked in there and luckily we had video surveillance camera so it showed exactly where it was,” Mike Tayara said.

The couple wanted to rebuild, but they continued to hit roadblocks due to construction costs.

“Because now with the price of material after corona went up 30% to 40%, so it was really impossible to rebuild,” Mike Tayara said.

The couple was at a dead end. They had lost everything and had nowhere to go.

They said encouragement from staff and longtime customers helped push them through the hard times.

“They said just build it we are here for you, and we couldn’t turn them down”

Now Orangeland has a new home on West Lucas Street. Renovations are ongoing, while advertising, signage, and food orders are a small part of a long list of things left to do.

The Tayaras said despite being nervous, they’re just ready to welcome the community back to their restaurant.

“We’re very anxious to get started again. It’s like we were a family and now it’s like bringing the family back like a reunion,” Cheryl Tayara said.

Orangeland is expected to reopen in mid-to-late October.

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