Recent building issues in Vernon have brought out the heart of the Community

VERNON, TX (KAUZ) - The sound of a cow bell means much more than dinner time at Three Hearts Steakhouse in Vernon.

For six years the bell rang as customers walked in and walked out the door. But in September of last year that bell fell silent.

The steak house was forced to shut their doors unexpectedly after the building next door collapsed, bringing part of the restaurant down with it.

Owner Misty Bryson said it is a day she will never forget.

"It literally looks like a bomb went off," said Bryson.

She felt the building next door had been in bad shape for months and knew something was going to happen, but never imagined it would put her out of business for seven months.

"For a while, I was beginning to think God was trying to tell me I'm not supposed to be in the restaurant business," said Bryson.

As the business began to rebuild 18 employees were forced out of work. Misty said it was one of the hardest parts of the entire situation, but was glad to hire everyone back when the doors reopened.

"Some of them had really strong struggles and some of them were able to find other things," she said.

After months of hard work and help from the community, the cowbell began to ring once again.

Larry Lambert was the first person to walk through the door when Three Hearts reopened in April and said the restaurant is much more than just a place to eat.

"I think this is the heartbeat of the town right here," said Lambert.

Despite the ups and downs Misty is glad to be back in business and is thankful for everyone's love and support.

"I think we're back and better than ever," she said.

City leaders in Vernon are now making plans to demolish other buildings that have become a danger to the community.

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