‘Anybody that’s in this community knows that it hurts’: Greer restaurant owner, looking to rebuild after fire

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:33 PM EST
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GREER, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A devastating fire burned a beloved restaurant in Greer Thursday night. Elohims Kitchen, formerly known as Back Home Cafe, was bought by a new owner just last summer. Now he’s picking up the pieces.

The new owner, Aaron Pringle, says Elohims Kitchen was more than just a restaurant, and losing this building was a loss not only for him, but for the entire community. However, he’s choosing to look forward to what this loss might bring.

“It was a gift. You know, not from man. This is one of the things that God does” said Pringle.

This isn’t his first business endeavor, he also owns a detailing shop across the street. A restaurant was never in his plans. But he says he used it as an avenue to better his community and see the beauty in the people.

“Family sitting down and praying with each other. Tables across from each other—that never met each other -- suddenly come together and become a new family” said Pringle as he described a day at Elohims Kitchen.

Serving breakfast, lunch and community—the restaurant was a spot many people went to daily. That changed Thursday night.

“I get the call from a partner of mine who lives a few houses down saying, ‘hey, your restaurant’s on fire’,” said Pringle, after he got the call, he drove to the restaurant as firefighters were still putting out the flames. “I sat there for a few minutes, didn’t really get in their way, just watched and realized that I couldn’t stomach to continue to watch.”

With a smell of soot still heavy in the air and water continuing to flow out, customers still poured in on Friday. Giving condolences to Pringle, and asking if he needed anything.

“Of course it hurts, I think anybody that’s in this community knows that it hurts,” he said.

But, he says this loss is only temporary.

“I can’t be fooled that the ceiling is missing, all I can do is plan for a bigger and better ceiling. We’re still here. We’ll rebuild, we’ll reset, and it’ll be better than before” he said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division have joined the Fire Marshal’s Office to assist with the investigation. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.