JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The sign outside Gilligan's seafood restaurant on Johns Island, read what many of its customers have been waiting to hear.
The Main Road mainstay has been shut down for months, after an overnight fire nearly gutted the restaurant in February. The fire started near the restaurant's back porch, leaving damage in the kitchen and dining area.
"You don't realize it, but smoke damage gets in things like baseboards that you haven't even noticed," said Gilligan's area supervisor Tasha Eady.
"From top to bottom, everything has to be cleaned and evaluated."
Gilligan's seafood restaurant re-opened Tuesday after a near million-dollar clean-up and renovation project. Much of the restaurant's staff, up to 80 percent, also returned for the summer re-launch.
"The bones are still there of Gilligan's but we've gotten a very big facelift," Eady said.
Not long after doors opened at 11 AM, several restaurant regulars were back on Johns Island, to show support for a community favorite.
"We're happy that they're open again," said Fred Morris of West Ashley. Morris, and seven others from his church group, hold their annual "meet and eat," at the Johns Island restaurant.
"It saves us from having to go somewhere else," he said.
"We're so thankful for our locals," Eady added. "They're what keep us in business."