NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The area along the Harpeth river, was one of the hardest hit in May of 2010 when flood waters impacted more than 1,000 residents and businesses in Bellevue.

For years, buildings sat empty. Twelve years post flood, the city is shining, with many saying Bellevue’s made its return.

“Bellevue’s very much back,” Dave Rosenberg, Metro Councilman for District 35 said. “Bellevue’s been on fire; there’s an awful lot going on.”

It’s a reinvention of sorts; momentum that started with the old mall turning new.

“It kind of sucked the heart of Bellevue,” Rosenberg said. “Bellevue is an amazing community, but for a long time it didn’t have an identity. It didn’t have a center.”

Now, the area is booming and there’s a breath of fresh air.

“We’re seeing old, long, dead buildings turn into new businesses,” Rosenberg said.

Like the old Shoney’s off Highway 70 South, which is now home to a new owner with new ideas. Their next-door neighbor, Bob Allen, Director of Training at Royal Range is thrilled.

“Restaurants are a good thing for us, like right next door here, they’re starting a new business there,” Allen said.

In addition, an Italian Steakhouse, ‘Fortuna Italian Steakhouse’ will be opening soon at 8100 Highway 100 South in the Shoppes on the Harpeth Shopping Center.

The new eatery, previously home to Applebee’s, was remodeled and renovated after sitting empty for years.

“This is another one of those places that kind of felt symbolic to people. The fact it was dead right there on a major road for so long made people question if businesses could succeed in Bellevue,” Rosenberg said.

Allen is proof they can, opening Royal Range in what was once a movie theater in Bellevue, destroyed by the flood.

“We got a lot of new customers of all the people moving into Nashville,” Allen said.

It shows there’s growth in one of Nashville’s hidden gems.

“Seeing all of our retail spots fill up and a place like this fill up, it’s a boost,” Rosenberg said. “Bellevue has been under control, there’s been leadership in Bellevue that’s been very careful about the growth. We’ve been cautious about preserving the character of the community and making sure we’ve got the infrastructure to support.”

Fortuna Italian Steakhouse is holding open house interviews next week, Wednesday and Thursday, between 2 and 5 p.m.