Berks business overcomes 2 moments of adversity, reopens

'It's a whirlwind of emotions today'

LOWER ALSACE TWP., Pa. - The grills are on and the drinks are flowing once again at Klinger's on Carsonia.

"It's a whirlwind of emotions today," said Mark Klinger, co-owner of the restaurant and pub on Carsonia Avenue in Lower Alsace Township.

The reopening Wednesday came three months after a fire on September 10 left a hole in the hearts of the Klinger family. The fire gutted most of the restaurant and the apartment upstairs, but no one was hurt and the restaurant promised it would be back. Now that it is, you'll find higher ceilings, an open kitchen and a bar made from a bowling alley.

But the business isn't the only comeback story here; look to Dennis Klinger, the father of the owners, Mark and Aaron.

"It's a gamut of emotions that we've been experiencing through this whole thing," said Dennis Klinger

Dennis was helping with cleanup two weeks after the fire, when he started not feeling well. He went to the hospital, where doctors discovered a problem with his heart valve and needed to operate.

"I wasn't getting blood to my body," Dennis said. "The surgeon told me after he performed the operation that there's a good chance I wouldn't have seen the end of the year."

The fire that gutted the beloved business served as a blessing in disguise.

"If the fire never happened, maybe my father wouldn't have caught his heart condition and maybe he wouldn't be with us today," Mark told 69 News.

Just months after everything almost fell apart, it all came back together.

"Everything's good," said Dennis. "Life is good."

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