WACO, Texas — Cafe Homestead has been a part of the Waco community since 1994.
"So many of our frequent guests ... they're not customers, they're friends."
These are friends who all experienced a tragic loss when a fire destroyed Cafe Homestead just days before Christmas.
"When we heard the news about it, we were just devastated because we just enjoy coming here," Marcia Boggs, a customer at Cafe Homestead for 20 years, said.
For 30 years, the restaurant has been a place for families to gather and celebrate milestone moments.
"It's a place for all the special times," Andrew Taylor, general manager of Cafe Homestead, said. "Before a holiday or during a holiday when relatives are in town, where do you gather? People gather at home but so many people bring everyone together at Cafe Homestead and that has been so wonderful to be a part of."
The fire on Dec. 23 destroyed some of those lasting memories, but the community has come together to help rebuild this Waco staple.
"There were hundreds of Facebook and Instagram comments just saying 'how can we help?' 'what can we do?' and we thought well, let's do a dinner and whatever you can contribute is great," Taylor said.
With around 150 guests on Friday and 200 Saturday night, all proceeds at the dinner will go straight towards the restaurant rebuild, allowing customers to give any amount they wish to contribute.
But most of all, the smiles walking through the door were priceless.
"It feels awesome to be back! I'm just glad they're open again because we've really missed them," Boggs said.
The best part is, the wait for a new Cafe Homestead location is only a few months away.
"They're saying that it's very possible and it's very likely that it will be done by the second week of June," Taylor said.
Customers were very happy to hear that.
"That's pretty quick and we're looking forward to that," John Boggs, Marcia's husband and customer at Cafe Homestead for 20 years, said.
Taylor told 6 News that Friday night's funds were able to cover the cost of materials for the tables and chairs at the new restaurant.
Starting this Wednesday, Cafe Homestead will be serving lunch Monday through Saturday with dinner Thursday through Saturday in the same location on the property.
If you want to keep up with the rebuilding process you can visit their website at cafehomestead.com or follow them on Facebook for updates.
Soon enough, they will have a new place to call home!
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