Destruction inside Nashville’s Melting Pot, Rodizio Grill worse than owners imagined

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — New images of the downtown devastation are coming to light as the FBI wraps up their investigation on the Christmas Day bombing. 

Wednesday business owners in the hardest hit area on 2nd Avenue were escorted into the area for their first look inside their businesses. Images that moved them to tears. 

The owner of both Rodizio Grill and the Melting Pot said she knew the destruction would be terrible, but it was even worse than she imagined. 

“It’s just so hard, so sad, so unnecessary,” Carla Rosenthal said as she teared up. “It’s my baby, it’s really hard,” she explained. 

It’s been nearly three decades since she and her husband built the Melting Pot. 

“We built this restaurant when we were 27, so there is a labor of love behind it,” she cried. 

That love extended to tourists and locals alike who have created countless memories within its walls. 

“That’s the business we’ve always been in, has been to allow people to share their happy moments so that’s really sad for us right now.” 

Extending their passion, eight years ago they opened Rodizio Grill within the same historic building, built in 1867. 

“The front of it is decimated, our bar is gone, every bottle is shattered and broken. A glass wall beside our host stand is gone, the kitchen is destroyed,” said Rosenthal. 

Not only shattering the couples dreams, but the lively hood of their 130 employees. 

“I think the hardest part for us is realizing that this isn’t going to be a quick fix and we don’t have a home for them to return to,” said Rosenthal. 

In the midst of the destruction, a silver lining was the Christmas presents for their employees and the Christmas tree untouched from the bombing. 

“It’s surreal. Maybe that’s a symbol that life goes on. You have to look for the good in all things like this, you know find the good in the acts of evil because they are there.”

Rosenthal said there are a lot of unknowns right now, but that she wants to believe that they will be back. However, they don’t own the building and don’t know about the structural integrity of it long term. She said if they do get back inside it will then take at least a year’s worth of work. 

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