INDIANAPOLIS — It wasn't the coronavirus pandemic that forced Kuma's Corner to temporarily close for months. It was a fire.
In October, the "small in-house fire" required the restaurant to close down for reconstruction. According to Kuma's, very little is known about how it started. But, the close-knit crew isn't really dwelling on the details.
"We're just keeping it rolling," Stephanie Scruggs, Kuma's general manager, said. "We keep it at our heart and soul, like we had before."
Kuma's, situated on the corner of Morris and Prospect Streets, is a Fountain Square gem serving up burgers and craft beers to the bang of metal rock music.
Fans of the burger joint waited in long lines on either side of the building for the first three days of Kuma's return this past weekend, starting Friday, May 7.
Seven months of eagerly waiting for the Famous Kuma Burger or the Metallica was hard, but it was worth it, and guests didn't mind waiting for just a little while longer in line.
"All of our guests have been positive and patient, and just the best people we could ask for," Scruggs said.
"We've been busy. We've even had people showing up, ready to be here when it's been crazy weather out. We had five different kinds of weather in one day, and people were still stoked to be here! So on the whole, just incredible," Scruggs described of the reopening. "It's been awesome."
Scruggs has been a long-time employee at Kuma's. She's been there since they opened in 2015.
"(This past weekend) has been the best sales I've ever seen. So we're extremely thankful for that," Scruggs said. "Everybody has been receptive to everything new that we've tried, and they've been present. And the staff have been really, really here and supportive of everything that we've been doing. So, on the whole, everything has just been really positive."
Previous patrons of Kuma's will recognize everything as it once was (except perhaps a bigger designated parking lot across the street) before reconstruction.
Scruggs adds they were just ready to get the restaurant safely opened to get back to doing what they do best.
"We just got it back to exactly how it was before the fire," Scruggs said, laughing. "We just wanted to clean it up and shine it up and go back to our roots, you know. We just want to be exactly who we are."
And that's exactly what they're doing — one rock song and burger flip at a time.
Kuma's Corner Indy
1127 Prospect St.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday and Thursday: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 12 p.m. - 12 a.m.