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Restaurant owner begins rebuilding Kenly landmark

Demolition will begin at noon on the wreckage of Patrick's Cafeteria, which a fire gutted late last summer. The owner said restaurants fans are welcome to come by and take a brick home.

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Patrick's Cafeteria
KENLY, N.C. — The process of rebuilding Patrick's Cafeteria started Saturday, more than five months after an electrical fire gutted the 30-year-old Kenly landmark.

Demolition of the restaurant's wreckage, at 201 N. Church St., began at noon. Owner Dale Moore welcomed fans of the restaurant to watch and take home bricks if they want.

"I didn't realize how much it meant to everybody, and that was inspiring and touching," Moore said a few days after the Aug. 30, 2008, fire. "I want to tear it down and rebuild a nice, new building for me, my family and for the community."

Longtime customers said they were heartbroken by the fire, which was likely caused by an electrical problem in the kitchen ceiling.

"As long as I can remember, I've been coming over here," customer Jeanne Woodard said. "Every time you went in there, someone was gathered around and talking, sitting around and drinking coffee."

Patrick's is a family-owned business that opened November 1978 as a Tastee Freeze. The owner changed the name in 1980 and handed the restaurant down to Moore, his son, 15 years ago.

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