Bridal store destroyed in fire to reopen

November 2, 2011 (OAK LAWN, Ill.)

The store's staff has been working non-stop to get the store ready for the grand re-opening. It comes nearly a year after it was destroyed by an electrical fire that started in the attic. The fire also destroyed Eva's Bridal's inventory of 6,000 wedding dresses. The owner immediately switched into damage control mode, locating replacement gowns for distraught brides.

"We tried to make it as easy for our customers to work through this as we could, and they've been great," said Ronia Ghusein, owner, Eva's Bridal.

Customers seemed to appreciate the service.

Christina Finn's daughter was married in July but chose her dress at Eva's Bridal before last year's fire. Fortunately, it was being stored in a warehouse and did not burn. Finn saw how the staff scrambled to meet everyone else's needs.

"They were fantastic. They were so accessible to all of the customers and fielding all phone calls and they actually had ladies in the parking lot," said Finn.

"They all understood the situation and they were willing to work with us in terms of going to the seamstresses' houses for alterations," said Ghusein.

Eva's Bridal is still on 95th Street in Oak Lawn. It moved a few blocks west of its original location. That building is under construction after the fire.

The staff says being to open a bigger and better store is a blessing in this tough economy and they are glad the fire didn't do even worse damage.

"Dresses can be replaced but people cannot. And we knew from the beginning that we were gonna rebuild better than ever and now we're here," said Mary Ann Lesch, Eva's Bridal receptionist.

Eva's Bridal has about 1,000 dresses in stock. The store says it won't be long before they are back up to 6,000 wedding gowns.

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