SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A restaurant destroyed by a fatal fire last October reopened just in time for the holiday crowds.
Kojack's Greek American fusion restaurant has been a Mission Beach staple for more than three decades. But last October, a fire started near the roof of the building and destroyed the ice cream shop and Kojack's on the bottom floor, as well as the apartment rooms on the second floor.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said 36-year-old apartment tenant, Aaron Porter died in the fire.
Since the tragedy, the building and restaurant owner, Mike Soltan says he has worked tirelessly to get back onto his feet to reopen on his favorite holiday.
"I never miss the Fourth of July on this beach for 33 years. So we tried so hard to make it, and finally, we did it." Soltan said.
Longtime customer, Steve Grebing said he could not miss the grand reopening.
"He [Soltan] kept saying in two weeks, two weeks. He was getting there, but now he is back here, so it's great," Grebing said.
While the building itself is rebuilt, the renovations for the second floor are on hold. So no apartment tenants are able to live upstairs.
Soltan also owns the ice cream shop next to Kojack's. Both shops reopened on July 4.