The Great Wall returns to College Hill after massive fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The Great Wall returns to College Hill after massive fire

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Rising from the rubble, The Great Wall is back in a brand new building.

The popular late-night Chinese restaurant near UNI burned down in April of 2016. It took firefighters hours to put out the massive flames from a kitchen fire. More than a year later, the restaurant is now back in the same spot, open for business in a brand new building. 

The kitchen is cooking, orders are coming in and people are happy.

Former UNI Women's Basketball Coach Tony DiCecco says his teams have always loved The Great Wall. 

"It was just a really good place and it was such great food and we are excited it's back open," he says.

In 2016, everything was destroyed in the fire which was heartbreaking news for the owners of this family business. 

"I got a phone call from my husband and my daughter was crying," says owner Wendy Zheng.

Nearby Gingers was also heavily damaged with extensive smoke and water damage inside. The business remains closed after the owner bought out the remaining lease at another bar, Beck's, also on College Hill. 

The few walls that were left of The Great Wall had to be demolished but Zheng says they always wanted to rebuild and come back. 

She says, "The customers are so glad we are back and I am very happy."

Along with the new building, the restaurant also has some new additions, selling things like alcohol, cigarettes and other snacks. The 6,000 square foot building will be home to 3 other businesses, but for now the Great Wall is the only one open.

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