BELGRADE — Center Ice Cafe in downtown Belgrade is back open following a fire that took place in October of 2021. For 14 long months, Center Ice Cafe sat closed and dark while the Belgrade Community anxiously waited for it to reopen again.
“Those 14 months were said I honestly didn't know when we were going to reopen. And it was frustrating,” said Rhonda Gilbert, owner of Center Ice Café.
More than a year ago we met Rhonda Gilbert, as she showed us her restaurant at the time it was dark, and the kitchen was covered in char following a fire.
“When the fire happened, my husband passed away April 22 from cancer, and then the fire was October 3. It was a tough rough year,” said Gilbert.
Even though 2021 was a rough year, she maintained her positivity throughout 2022. Gilbert posted updates on social media about the restaurant, and in the comments, people would send her messages of support.
“Many people now have come to me and said Gosh, I don't know how you did it, I don't know how you didn't give up,” said Gilbert.
Six years before the fire, she and her late husband opened the restaurant.
“Center Ice was always my dream,” said Gilbert.
For her, it was a passion that kept her working toward the goal of reopening.
“We had to shut down and do some remodeling,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert kept working to make ends meet throughout the last year.
“It was it was hard. In the meantime, I actually took on another job,” said Gilbert.
When she finally received that call for a final inspection, she was once again filled with the excitement and anxiety that comes with day one.
“My gosh, we're finally open, and, just are they going to come are people going to show up or they're going,” said Gilbert.
The doors have been open for a month and her community is coming back. It’s the community she calls family who keeps her going.
“I can not do this without everywhere one of you, You are who make this happen. And the other turn. I am here to have an amazing great place for you to come in. So we both are here. to support each other and that,” said Gilbert.
The doors are back open Wednesday through Sunday 8 AM to 2 PM where you can come back and enjoy the famous cinnamon rolls.