West Side Market - Open for Business
The reality of the recent fire is just a few feet away from Ilse Sheppard. As she tends customers from behind the counter at Frank's Bratwurst Stand, a gray, wooden wall looms just across the aisle, erected to cover two other stands destroyed in the blaze a couple weeks ago. Although the flames didn't touch her business, she felt the impact.
ILSE SHEPPARD: It really hurt us financially, because we had to remodel everything. We had a lot of water and smoke damage. We've never had anything like this.
The Market's been closed for clean-up ever since the January 30th fire, and while Cleveland safety officials still haven't figured out the cause of the blaze, city engineers have determined that no structural damage was done to the building. Hours after reopening, the building is bustling with shoppers. Melissa DeCaro's family has run a vegetable stand at the Market since 1934. She says it's great to reconnect with her customers.
MELISSA DeCARO: Everybody's jovial, smiling, they're happy. It's nice to see the nice, clean market. Everybody's in a really, really good mood
Rick Evans of Parma is one of the happy returnees. In addition to picking up the fresh fruit and vegetables on his shopping list, Evans said it was just nice to walk around the Market, once again teaming with life
RICK EVANS: All the people, all the reactions, all the "welcome backs". It's Cleveland, it's hometown.