Businesses Doing Well One Year after Johnson Center Fire - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Businesses Doing Well One Year after Johnson Center Fire

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BRIDGEPORT -

It was just one year ago that Johnson Center stood along Johnson Avenue in Bridgeport, and the businesses located there were thriving, but around 7 p.m. that night, that all changed.

On April 17, 2013 a fire started near the Total Dental sign of Johnson Center, that would soon consume nearly half the building.

More than 50 firefighters from Bridgeport, Anmoore, Shinnston, Nutter Fort, and Stonewood battled the fire for hours.

Now where there was once a building with many tenants, there's an empty parking lot.

One of those businesses was featured on the Restaurant Road Trip. Roberto's Restaurant had only been open less than a year.

"My friend Rose was working that day and called me around 7:30 p.m. and said ‘hey the building is on fire' and I was like ‘what do you mean the building is on fire?" explained Marie Fischer, an employee at Roberto's.

About four months after the fire Roberto's relocated to the North Central West Virginia Airport, but still offers the same great food.

"It's pretty much the same exact menu. We do daily specials now which is something new," said Fischer.

The menu includes pizza, calzones, hoagies, and salads.

While Roberto's business is pretty much the same, another business that was located in Johnson Center changed it up a bit.

Vino e' Vita was a wine retailer, and now Bernie Teyssier and his wife Barbara operate out of their home.

"We've converted into a sommelier service business. We're doing wine related services including in home and corporate tasting events, we do wine catering, wine education, and restaurant consultations," explained Teyssier.

While Teyssier said there were a few benefits from the fire, like spending more time with his family, there are challenges as well.

"The hardest part about it is communicating that we are still out here and still doing things. We've managed to do a lot of that through our Facebook page," Teyssier said.

Vino e' Vita and Roberto's both have websites and Facebook pages that you can learn more about the businesses.

Other places that were located in Johnson Center have relocated since then including Dry Cleaning World, which operates out of a trailer in that parking lot.

Total Dental is also building a new business right near Johnson Center.