One year after the storms, Hickory Barn Bar-B-Que really cooking

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- April's history of tornado outbreaks in the Tennessee Valley has claimed both lives and livelihoods. The April 28, 2014 storms in Limestone County left Hickory Barn Bar-B-Que a mangled mess, but just one year later, owner Bill Davis is really cooking.

Davis spent the days after that EF-3 tornado hit cooking endless meals of donated food for emergency crews and volunteers. Senator Bill Holtzclaw recently presented Davis with a resolution in honor of that community service.

"I never saw that one coming," said Davis.

The plaque is now a part of the "Tornado Wall" in his restaurant's new location, which Davis said took months of effort and collaboration to reopen.

"If it wouldn't have been for this community, we wouldn't be here."

As Davis heads into the prime bar-b-que season, he says he is hoping to finally get back to where he was financially before the storms.

"We're still trying to recover. You go six months without an income and it changes your eating habits a little bit, so we're still in recovery mode."

Davis said he still intends to go whole hog in the future, though, with plans to add a second pit-house and outdoor seating to augment his expanded space.

"We want to be more than just a restaurant, we want it to be a destination."

As he ends this year-long journey, the award-winning pit-master continues to see his bar-b-que sauce as half full.

"It was a rough six months for us, but it's changed everything. You know,we're in a bigger building, bigger business, so we're doing okay."

Davis plans to hold a weekend-long celebration to help commemorate the Limestone County Community's perseverance one year after the storms. To learn more about it, click here.

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