Shorewood Liquor reopening 18 months after fire causes closure

For 16 years, Shorewood Liquor has been a place where customers feel like family.

Now after a year and a half, that family is going to be back together again.

"I'm very excited and nervous. I don't want to screw this up. So it's a lot of different emotions," manager Craig Schmidt told FOX 9.

In April of last year, the store's security cameras captured flames erupting from under one of the cash registers and quickly turning into a fireball in the middle of the store.

Even though the flames never spread to the rest of the building before the fire department put them out, smoke and water damage cost the liquor store almost its entire inventory and the inside of the store had to be rebuilt from scratch.

"It was basically four inches of standing water until the fire department got everything basically contained and things like that. So, it's the thing I would never wish on anyone, not even my worst enemy," said Schmidt.

After 18 months, Shorewood Liquor looks as good as new, with new walls, floors and coolers.

The store will open its doors to customers this week for the first time since the fire.

"Just the sheer amount of support from the community is something I never experienced in my life, which is kind of cool to see for a positive," said Schmidt.

Because for some, Shorewood Liquor is more than just a liquor store.

"We're just going to try to do it and just hope everybody in the neighborhood shows up. I know they're going to just because of the people they are," said Schmidt.