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Salt-of-the-earth effort ensures a second coming

By Mark Beale

In A comeback effort to rival that of Robert Downey Jnr, Salt Seafood Bar & Grill is back in action after flames gutted the establishment just two weeks ago.

Owner Wayne Aspland said the drama all began two Sundays ago when he received a phone call at 2am.

“I was here a couple of minutes past … the firies got here about 2.30am,” he said.

After an extensive investigation by emergency services, it was determined that faulty wiring had sparked the blaze, but sadly the restaurant wasn’t insured.

What happened next, though, was a stunning example of community spirit.

“There was a lot of hard work from all of our staff,” Mr Aspland said.

There were even a number of customers who saw the Asplands’ plight and decided to roll up their sleeves.

“I’m still driving around in one of our customers’ utes,” Mr Aspland said.

“He said, ‘Hey Wayne, I know you’ve got a lot of stuff to get rid of etc. I’m away at the minute – why don’t you use this?’

“Other customers have come in in their work clothes and said, ‘What can I do?’

Mr Aspland said their landlord had been a huge help as well, pulling out all the stops to find them a new venue and a new kitchen.

“He was gracious enough to enable us to move into another venue, so we opened up in the empty shop that he had,” he said.

With the first post-fire meals served a week ago, Mr Aspland said he was stoked to be back up and running so quickly.

“It’s still unbelievable that in one week you can turn it around,” he said.

Although the restaurant is now once again open for business, Mr Aspland said the hard work was still going on for their staff.

Mr Aspland hopes to be back to full capacity in about six weeks, with plans to move into the shopfront next door to the burnt-out premises.

“We’ll have a stand-alone restaurant with a cocktail bar.”

The Asplands thanked everyone who helped get them back on their feet.

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