NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Old Spaghetti Factory on 2nd Avenue downtown just celebrated 40 years of business and now has to rebuild after an already challenging year.
Todd Saxey, the restaurant’s district manager, says he shed many tears on Christmas morning.
“We’ve all worked very hard half of my adult life has been spent building that business and being able to create a spot where people are able to work for us and our guests to create memories,” Saxey said. “It’s almost like somebody that’s a member of my family has passed away.”
Management has been unable to get close to the building due to the ongoing investigation and road closures. They are basing the amount of damage off of photos and word from authorities. Pictures show all of the doors and windows blown out and the casing work gone.
According to a company spokesperson, there are several antiques and collectibles inside of the restaurant and they are expecting a $1 million loss in damages or more. Many of those items were collected from old churches and venues throughout Music City, including a grand piano and crystal chandeliers.
Saxey says it could take anywhere from nine months to one year to rebuild. They’ve hired a structural engineer to help them through the process.
“What we’re hoping is that it’s in a condition that it can be repaired,” Saxey said.
The restaurant currently has 32 employees, several of them have worked there for around 15 years. A handful of their employees live in the areas hit hardest by the March 3rd tornado and lost their homes earlier this year. Then they had to deal with the impact of COVID-19.
“We are going to be forward thinking and look forward to being able to reopen and have a beautiful restaurant again and be a part of downtown Nashville,” Saxey said.
A fundraiser for the restaurant has been set up on GoFundMe. As of Tuesday evening, the campaign has collected more than $13,000 and will directly help employees. The owners are hoping to gain access to 2nd Avenue by the end of the week.