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Photo by Dave Flessner / With new signs, walls and equipment, the Einstein Bagels shop on East Brainerd Road will reopen on Wednesday, more than five months after a tornado damaged the 6-year-old store.

This story was updated on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 at 7:55 p.m. to correct spellings and stylizations of Dunkin', East Brainerd Road and Little Caesars.

More than five months after a series of tornadoes ripped through Chattanooga on Easter night and damaged the Einstein Bagels shop on East Brainerd Road, the bagel shop will reopen Wednesday.

The 6-year-old restaurant was forced to close after high winds on the night of April 12 damaged the 2,237-square-foot structure at 7737 East Brainerd Road.

"We thought we could reopen in a couple of months, but we've had to rebuild the walls, install new equipment and build a new sandwich line and it ended up taking longer than we had expected," said Meagan Gilliam, manager for the Einstein Bagel shops in Chattanooga. "We're excited about the opening — and a little nervous as we get ready to serve everyone again."

Einstein Bagels entered the Chattanooga market in 2014 in East Brainerd and expanded to Hixson in 2015 in a former Huddle House restaurant.

The bagel shop is one of more than a half dozen restaurants in the East Brainerd area that were forced to shut down due to tornado damages in April.

Rival Dunkin' reopened its store at 7647 East Brainerd Road on June 2 after making roof repairs and installing new refrigeration equipment and signage. A nearby Little Caesar's pizza outlet and a China House also reopened this summer after making repairs.

Bones Smokehouse restaurant on East Brainerd Road was demolished by the tornado and the structure and restaurant are yet to be rebuilt, although work has begun on a new building at the restaurant site at 7601 East Brainerd Road.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

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