It looks like it will be at least a few more weeks until Sioux Empire residents will once again be able to eat at one of the city's more popular downtown restaurant hangouts.

The Phillips Avenue Diner is still about 6-weeks away from being able to open back up their doors after a fire caused smoke and structural damage to the facility.

The owners of the Phillips Avenue Diner told Dakota News Now, there is still more work to be done to restore the Diner to a condition where patrons will be allowed back in.

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It appears as if the overnight fire on (June 5) really did some pretty extensive damage to parts of the restaurant.

WR Hospitality President, Don Anderson, told Dakota News Now, the fire started on the outside of the building somewhere near the men's bathroom. The blaze caused significant damage to the men's and women's restrooms. Anderson said both bathrooms in the building needed to be gutted. Part of the Diner's freezer unit was also damaged during the fire.

According to Dakota News Now, the biggest hurdle still to overcome is dealing with the vast amount of smoke damage the entire building sustained as a result of the fire. That is the primary reason why it is taking so long to reopen the doors.

Owners say an extensive amount of ductwork inside the facility needs to be done. Right now, the hitch in the giddy-up is trying to find enough contract workers capable of doing the job. There is a shortage of trade workers at the moment because of the volume of work in the Sioux Falls area.

One bright spot in this story is the fact that a great majority of the Phillips Avenue Diner workers have been able to find temporary work at other restaurants in Sioux Falls and throughout the state, as repair work continues at the Diner.

Some of WR Hospitality’s other restaurants here in Sioux Falls and one located in Custer have temporarily picked up the displaced workers. Kudos to all those folks!

Personally, I am counting the days until the Diner opens back up again. I love their patio in the summertime, and I am seriously jonesing for an Elvis Waffle and a bowl of Steel Cut Oates!

Source: Dakota News Now

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