Employees and residents alike are thrilled to have another business reopen in Tuscaloosa this week.
Schlotzsky's Deli, which was completely destroyed in the April 27 tornado, reopened this week to a full house. Workers report that more than 100 people lined up Wednesday morning to get a serious sandwich with a funny name.
"We're back and we're here to stay," an employee said.
And residents couldn't be happier.
"It's amazing. It's really cool to see. It gives the city a vibe, a hearbeat again," Damien Christian said.
Christian was living in Tuscaloosa when the tornado hit and he remembers how badly damaged this area was.
"I remember going home the day after and there was nothing," he said.
Schlotzsky's Deli employee Santresa Austin also remembers how bad it was. She'd been working at the deli for 11 years and got the call in April that the store was gone.
"It was heartbreaking. I just broke down and started crying...I just couldn't imagine it was our store," she said.
Now more than a year later, life is getting back to normal and so is 15th Street.
"It's so much more alive. It's more like a city than a recovery," Christian said.
When the tornado hit Schlotzsky's told employees they would take care of them and they kept their word. The company paid all employees over the past year and half and had them working non-profit jobs until the business could be reopened.
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1720 Valley View Drive