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A rebirth for the former Bath Hotel

Published On: Jun 26 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 27 2013 06:57:48 PM CDT

It's a comeback story nearly a decade in the making.

BATH, Pa. -

It's a comeback story nearly a decade in the making. A nearly 200-year-old building in Bath has new life after a devastating fire 8 years ago, and it could be the push the borough needs to revitalize.

It was an unexpected fire. September 2005 The Bath Hotel went up in flames after a blaze started on the third floor. Serial arsonist Russell Dorney was convicted of sparking the fire in the historic building.

"It was just devastating to see that big hole at the square," described Bath Borough Councilwoman Carol Bear Heckman.

The hotel was built in 1817, but a burnt out shell was all that was left. After the Bath Hotel was torched, it sat vacant for about 2 years before Joe Caiazzo and his brother Anthony bought it. They say all they could salvage were the four outer walls.

"No one wanted to touch it," explained Joe. "The only thing they could have done was probably rip it down but we wanted to save it."

Now the landmark is rising from the ashes, reborn as the Red Wolf Bar & Grille.

"The whole community, I don't think there was anybody who ever thought that it would get restored or come back, they thought it was doomed," shared Bear Heckman.

Joe and Anthony grew up in the Bath area. They rebuilt the upstairs, making room for six apartments to rent. After sitting on the first floor commercial space for a while, two years ago they decided to add a restaurant. The Red Wolf Bar & Grille has been open for about 5 weeks.

"It's been pretty steady," added Joe. "It's been nice, we just started our first week of advertisement and we've been doing pretty well."

With a handful of new stores opening in Bath, it could be the revitalization the area needs.

"Once other people see we were willing to take the risk, I think other people are going to come in an open other businesses in town," said Joe.

"Bath is becoming a destination instead of just a drive through," smiled Bear Heckman.

The Red Wolf Bar & Grille is holding its official grand opening Thursday night. The Caiazzo brothers hope it can stay open for another 200 years.