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Chili Verde will reopen tomorrow -- finally -- after a kitchen fire

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Eder Yanez-Mota is antsy. His coolers and freezers are empty, and his restaurant, Chili Verde, has been closed for almost two weeks during one of the busiest times of year, thanks to a fryer that caught on fire November 30. But today he's re-stocking all of his food, and he's certain Chili Verde will be back in business tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Yanez-Mota had hoped to reopen last Thursday, but he says that city and fire department inspectors didn't show up last week. The health department finally gave him the green light yesterday, he says, and the fire department did the same earlier today.

"These two weeks have been out of pocket, and it's been really crazy," Yanez-Mota adds. "Finally, we're ready to go tomorrow."

The fire destroyed several kitchen appliances and put a hole in the roof. Yanez-Mota, who owns the restaurant with his brother, Hanzel, has spent the bulk of the past two weeks restoring the kitchen and painting it. "The kitchen looks really good now," he jokes. "It's nice and clean."

Yanez-Mota says he'll be spending almost all of his time in the kitchen for the next month, training two new cooks. Before the fire, he would usually be behind the burners only on Friday and Saturday night -- but now he's anxious to get back some of the business he lost. "We're good to go," he says. "We need to make some money. Things happen for a reason. We're always happy and positive."

He's also vowing to call everyone who had a reservation while Chili Verde was closed, and promises to do something special for those groups. For more information, call 303-477-1377.

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