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Bedford's historic 'Liberty Station' remembers fire that destroyed restaurant 10 years ago

Event thanks community and fire and emergency personnel

BEDFORD, Va.- – It's been 10 years since a historic Bedford landmark caught fire. And they are hosting an event to celebrate all involved with putting the fire out and rebuilding Liberty Station. 

Ten years goes by fast when you're serving up good food, especially one of their most popular dishes. 

"Oh by far, catfish."

Ten years ago, a fire destroyed the building, closing the restaurant. 

"You'll never forget the smell. That doesn't go away," said Julie Leist, manager.

But they were able to rebuild and reopen after four months. 

"It's always a blessing in disguise. So one day you think you have nothing left and the next day the community rallies around you," Leist said. 

The place used to be an old train station where people would gather to greet or send off loved ones traveling near and far. Now, it's a gathering place for lunch, dinner and good conversation. 

"People who were related to the men who left for D-Day. A lot of people grew up here and physically took trains from here, and they can come back and look at old menus and prices and just basically relive history and it's pretty cool," Leist said.

Longtime customer Phyllis Coffey remembers the day her favorite lunch spot caught fire. 

"I thought it was gone forever. I'm glad to see it came back," Coffey said. 

And she comes here for much more than the food. 

"It's a joy to come here and listen to the trains pass by because I come to my railroad family," Coffey said. 

This room is filled with memorabilia about the history of the train station to its transformation of the restaurant -- before and after the fire.

"A lot of people put in a lot of effort to bring everything back to what it was and they deserve to be acknowledged," Leist said. 


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