Takamatsu reopening year after fire

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- More than a year ago the Takamatsu restaurant on Speedway near Craycroft was destroyed in a fire.

Thursday the restaurant will open its doors to the public once again.

Takamatsu is named after owner Peter Koga's parents, taka meaning tall and matsu meaning pine. Well this tall pine was burned to the ground in a fire last June.

"They told that there was a fire and came out and just everything, i didn't realize how bad it was until i got here and whole place was pretty much burned down," said Koga.

More than 40 people lost their jobs and many wondered what the Tucson business would do.

For Koga, there was no question he was going to rebuild.

"We knew we had to take out and gut the whole place, we started over and we remodeled the whole place," said Koga.

Tears, sweat and a vision flipped the inside from charred to stylish. Rebuilding during a rough economy was a bit of a challenge.

"That's kind of the reason why we don't do our teppanyaki anymore.  I understand everybody is on a budget.  We wanted to make it affordable, good affordable food," said Koga.

Wednesday's soft opening had a pretty nice crowd.  Some of the patrons had been coming to the place for years.

"I have been coming since 1995, since they first opened.  i remember that first 6 months i was coming almost every night," said customer Levi Davis.

Guests and the owner know the place has come along way from day the fire destroyed everything.

"It's wide open.  It's beautiful.  It feels like home.  It was the longest year of my life.  Everybody is happy.  We're relived and hopefully there's big and better things to come," said Koga.

Takamatsu plans to employ more than 50 people.  The grand opening is Thursday.