Local restaurant owner Mamadou Savane is back behind the counter.
And no one is more excited than the regulars.
It’s 2:15 on Monday afternoon. Every few minutes a group of customers walks through the door at Sav’s Grill on South Limestone and the reaction is always a variation on the same theme.
"It's good to have you back," they say, smiling.
About two months ago, an accident involving a 20 gallon pot of boiling peanut sauce left him with severe burns over more than half his body. And while he’s not shy about sharing a photo of the injuries, he notes that some of the scars are mental.
"You know, it was hard. Especially going back to the kitchen and just the flashback. I think that will stay with me for a long time," Sav says.
But today he’s back on his feet, spending a couple hours here and there at the register, saying thank you to supporters who raised more than $65,000 to help with his medical and business bills. When asked about the response, Sav searches for words.
"I'll tell you, man, I still I can't explain honestly. I didn't know how much it meant to people what I do here until I got hurt. I'm very, very, very happy," he says, waving at another smiling customer.
While he admits there are miles to go on the road to recovery, Sav says the flood of community support has kept him in good spirits and his loyal customers can expect to see more of him in the coming weeks.