‘I’m blessed’: Stanley restaurant owner reopens after fire, thanks to community’s support

STANLEY, N.C. — The All-Star Hotdog Shack burned down last year, but now its owner is making a comeback, and he’s giving back to the community that helped get him back on his feet.

There are no walls and no floors, but Jason Farmer sees new life along Main Street in Stanley.

“There is so much potential here, there is so much growth,” he told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon on Tuesday.

The tables and chairs that sit on a lot will become the dining room for his food truck business. At the edge of the lot, Farmer can see the place where his restaurant used to stand. He had poured his retirement money into his dream.

“I never had more fun working in my life,” Farmer said.

Last August, just three months into his dream job, the business caught fire.

“I felt like throwing up, crying, screaming at the same time,” Farmer told Lemon.

He said something amazing happened afterward. Other restaurant owners, his former competitors, held a benefit hot dog sale for him in his parking lot.

“Folks just started popping up. It was overwhelming, I’ll tell you the truth, I had to go and run behind the building and kneel down and cry,” Farmer said.

Farmer used the money to pay his employees for a month and to keep his business’ insurance. That helped to set him up with a food truck that he will operate five days a week.

“I’m blessed to have a second opportunity because it’s easier to give up than it is to persevere,” he said.

If all goes as planned, he will start serving people out of his food truck in about three weeks, on July 9.

He said he won’t stop here, either. His plan is to grow the business with the food truck, keep it, and find a restaurant.

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