Owners and customers reminisce about beloved Hilltop Restaurant that caught fire

WSBT 22 photo

Owners of a landmark Elkhart County restaurant are trying to decide what to do next after a destructive fire Tuesday night.

Firefighters worked hard to try to save the Hilltop Restaurant, but when the roof started to collapse, they had to fight it from the outside.

Owners of the Hilltop Restaurant had a chance to survey the damage and salvage what they could.

Sadly, the restaurant was about two weeks away from celebrating its 40th anniversary.

We talked with some members of the family that own the restaurant that did not want to go on camera.

They said that are still trying to process what happened, and added that they were overwhelmed by the amount of regulars and local residents who turned out to show support.

One of those was customer Lisa Yoder, who has been coming here the last six years. Seeing the damage first-hand was tough.

“It was my home-away-from-home,” said Yoder. “It was hard for me to really believe it, until this morning when I came over here and now it’s gone. I don't know where to go now. I would love to see them rebuild somewhere.”

Customer James Cameron was eating there last night when the fire broke out.

“Hilltop is a legend in Middlebury,” said Cameron. “This is devastating. I feel that Middlebury now is going to need to come together as a community and see if we can rebuild this.”

Customer Cheyanne Barrett was also there last night.

“I was really heartbroken, because I have been coming here since I was a kid,” said Barrett. “I remember times when my grandma would come home here from Arizona and we would come up here and do abig family dinner.”

The owners say that once they have a chance to talk with the insurance company, they will have a better idea of what the future holds. They’re very thankful everyone got out safely.

They say it’s too soon to say if they'll be able to rebuild.

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