HAUSER LAKE, Idaho - A popular North Idaho restaurant has reopened after the owners spent the past year rebuilding from a devastating fire.
"It was so exciting," said Debbie Mustered, owner of Chef in the Forest as she talked about the grand reopening.
In December of 2009, an electrical short caused Chef in the Forest, on the edge of Hauser Lake to burn to the ground.
"And the fire chief said 'I'm sorry, it's too hot we can't do anything except watch it burn,'" said Mustered. "Mom and I just hugged each other and stood there and cried. It was just like all of our dreams were going up in smoke," she said.
Mustered and her mom, Jo Davis have owned the restaurant for seven years-it's been on the lake for more than 30 years.
For the past year, Mustered and Davis have been working closely with contractors and local architects to rebuild the restaurant the way it was before the fire, right down to the view.
Tuesday Scott and her husband Tim couldn't wait to enjoy a quiet dinner by the lake.
"I have been calling faithfully since October," said Tuesday Scott.
The Scott's have been eating at Chef in the Forest for nearly 10 years.
"This is just an amazing place," said Scott.
Mustered contributes their success to her mother's dedication to making everything from scratch.
"The roasted duck in raspberry sauce absolutely flies out of here," she said.
And, because the restaurant is a landmark it has become much more than just a place to enjoy a meal.
"Our customers are our friends and some of them are just like family," said Mustered.
"For them to persevere and come back is amazing," said Scott.
Chef in the Forest is open Wednesday thru Sunday. Reservations are recommended, for more information http://www.chefintheforest.net/
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