Two years after the fire, Hill's Restaurant plans to reopen this - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two years after the fire, Hill's Restaurant plans to reopen this fall

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KENNEWICK, WA - Less than two years since a fire destroyed the beloved local restaurant - just like a phoenix, Hill's Restaurant is rising from the ashes with the hopes of being back open this fall.

"Onward and upward," said Nancy Galstad, the owner. "I mean, this is... everything happens for a reason, and so you just grab onto that."

Right on the corner of Vista Way and Kennewick Avenue, G2 Construction is hard at work, restoring the weathered gem to its former glory.

"It will look and feel just like the old restaurant, but it will be all new," explained the project manager, Jared Wendlandt. "All new kitchen, all new interior, all new ceilings and all new facilities."

For Galstad, the fire meant more than just losing the physical structure. Since she was 21, Galstad worked her way up from being a hostess for former owners Ronna and Tom Hill, to buying the place from them back in 1997.

With the reopening, Galstad hopes that those who grew up coming in to see her remember all the fun they had together.

"Playing restaurant with them, and getting out little aprons and and hanging their own coloring pictures," Galstad fondly recalls. "I hope that that's, those things sits in their minds that they'll always remember."

Luckily, through their work, G2 Construction was able to salvage some sentimental pieces, including the brick wall that Mr. Hill walked by every morning.

"Those particular walls... if they could talk, they'd say 'welcome home,' " said Galstad.

To learn more about the fire that closed the restaurant, click here: Early morning structure fire at Hill's Restaurant