Four months ago, Shawna Beckman and her family were awakened to a startling phone call.
“My sister’s husband is a volunteer firefighter and got the call,” Beckman said. “She got up and told us ‘208 North Spruce is on fire.’”
It was the address of Ecola Seafoods Restaurant and Market — the business her family had owned for 25 years. The small electrical fire caused an incredible amount of smoke damage, to where everything from equipment to the baby photos stored upstairs were destroyed. The fire closed down the shop for the majority of the busy tourist season where most businesses make most of their money.
“We had just gotten new equipment, a new point of sale a month before the fire,” she said. “We were doing everything we could to keep employees on and paid through this.”
But the day before Thanksgiving, the market got a new start. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the market had a soft reopening, just in time for families to get seafood for holiday meals. The business has a fresh new look, with entirely new furniture and equipment.
The new restaurant does have a few homages to the past, however. A few chunks of a mural portraying a fish market, which hung on the walls of the market for 23 years, survived the fire and still hang there today.
“It’s been crazy, but we have pretty loyal customers we hope they all come back,” she said. “It’s really brought our family closer together.”