Big Ben rises from the ashes

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For a little while there, it looked like their dream had gone up in flames.

Husband and wife team Paula Casey and David Harris had brought an authentic British pub to Myers Park, but last year, the whole thing was destroyed in a devastating fire.

Big Ben's loyal customers were pretty devastated themselves.

"I went their often," says Charlotte resident Ed Young. "Watched the soccer football games on the left a big hole in my afternoons."

Plenty of people, like Young, had a real passion for the place, and ultimately, that's what gave Paula and her husband the inner strength - and in some cases even the outer resources - to reopen.

"One of our customers was an architect," Casey says. "Another built the bar here. We were happy to get them involved, to give them work."

Now the kitchen is once again cranking out plenty of comfort food from across the pond, right here in South End.

"We've had lots of our old customers come in, and they're all happy to see us back and we're happy to be back, believe me," Casey says.

Turns out they're even happier actually, to be here, in this brand new spot.

"They've picked a great location in Atherton Mills," Young says. "I think it'll be even better than over on Providence Road."

But not everything's new. Happily, a framed photo of the Queen survived the flames.  Today, she reigned over a booming lunch crowd approvingly.