Lehigh Valley

Buckeye Tavern reopens 2 years after devastating fire

LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - Community members gathered in Lower Macungie Township Monday to welcome back an old friend.
The Buckeye Tavern is back in business, two years after being gutted by a fire.

The restaurant owner, Terry Bender, was joined by the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce for the grand opening.

Bender says after the fire he was shocked by the community's support but he never accepted any of their donations.

Instead he worked to rebuild, always looking forward to this day.

"I love it, you got to like what you do and it's not a job," said owner, Terry Bender.

For Terry Bender the Buckeye Tavern in Lower Macungie is home, but he hasn't been able to say that again until recently.

"I'm very excited it's probably the longest two years," said Bender.

In May of 2015 scorching flames and billowing black smoke engulfed the restaurant, a fire set off by a cigarette.

It was devastating, it took time, they call it a mourning you know because it's your life you have everything in it," Bender said.

But two years later, Bender said he is back.

With the cutting of a blue ribbon, the Buckeye is 'back from the ashes.'

"I got up nice and early this morning, I couldn't sleep," Bender said.

After the fire, merely a shell remained of the building that went up in 1735 and Bender spent years trying to rebuilt the place that held so much history.

"Because this has been here for 300 years," Bender said.

Bender even rebuilt the infamous window where a picture of a so-called ghost named Susan went viral.

"We're actually officially haunted," Bender said.

A new 'Buckeye Tavern' back in business. It's place Bender hopes others will feel at home in once again.

"It's going to be fun, I'm very excited,".

Proceeds from the house beer will go to the Lower Macungie Fire Department that worked to battle the blaze.


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