RALEIGH, N.C. – The owner of a downtown restaurant said he credits community support with helping him reopen after suffering heavy damage.

Rashid Salahat's Subway restaurant at the corner of Fayetteville and Martin streets was badly damaged in the riots that hit the capital at the end of May. Rioters broke every door and window in the store and damaged furniture and a TV inside.

Recovery took shape almost immediately. Salahat said while he was surveying the damage, two people came up and offered to help him rebuild. Soon he was receiving assistance from local contractors and organizations ranging from Rotary International to the Raleigh-Apex NAACP.

He took the opportunity to update the restaurant's décor, which did not fit Subway's latest interior design specs. On Wednesday, he was able to reopen. As far as he knows, his is the first business to reopen that was closed due to significant damage from the riots.

“I'm proud to be part of this community, and this is what you get all the time,” he said. “It brings you back to life, all I can say.”

Salahat said he plans to use excess donations to pay for free meals for homeless people who visit his restaurant. He said everyone is welcome in his store, regardless of their color, or whether they are rich or poor.