WARRENSBURG -- The new incarnation of Oscar's Smokehouse will be "greener" than the old version, owner Jerry Quintal said.
"We're trying to be as environmentally friendly as we can," he said.
Quintal stood Tuesday in front of what will be the new Oscar's, on the same property where, 10 weeks ago, the old building burned to the ground.
"We've come a long way in 10 weeks," he said. "We're moving along real fast."
The charred landscape has been transformed into bare cement and steel beams. On Tuesday, workers were laying blacktop on the parking lot to make the business compliant with American Disabilities Act laws. National Grid was installing a new generator on a pole. And steel workers were fastening recycled beams together to make the building's framework.
Come January, Quintal said, the business will be ready to welcome customers back.
And while Quintal promised the ambiance in the mom-and-pop shop will remain the same as it was in the 1946 building, this one will have new "green" upgrades.
"We want to help," he said. "We're building a new building and we have the opportunity to do some green things."
LED lights, a "green" roof and geothermal heating and air conditioning are some of the features which, Quintal said, will cut the business' energy costs by 60 percent.
"All our compressors on our refrigeration units - which we have seven of them - create hot water," he said. "We're gonna use that hot water for the geothermal, which brings the temperature of the water up so we only have to heat it 20 or 25 degrees for heat."
The building was going to have solar panels on the roof, but Quintal said they would not have generated enough power to sustain the business.
"Even though it's much more expensive to go green we decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and do it," he said.
The geothermal system alone will cost about $180,000 more than a conventional one, he said - about $250,000 versus $65,000.
"It's a big difference but I have grandchildren," he said. "I have to think of my grandchildren."
The new Oscar's will not have the nooks and crannies of the old one, Quintal said, so space will be used more efficiently, making the new one-story building effectively larger than the old three-story one.
The new building's retail shop will be larger than the old one, he said.
Oscar's had been a Warrensburg staple on Raymond Lane until it burned down in an accidental fire at the start of Labor Day weekend in September. The day of the fire, hundreds gathered outside and watched it burn while they talked about their smoked meats, cheeses and other food products.
Joq Quintal, Jerry's son and the next in line to take over the family-owned business, said that, even as flames engulfed the building, the family had resolved to rebuild.
"Around 9 p.m., we already started thinking about how we were going to rebuild," he said, about the day of the blaze.
Jerry Quintal said a piece of the old Oscar's remains, though, because he restored an original smokehouse from the old building with a plaque in honor of his parents, who started the business in 1946.
"We can't wait to get back to work," he said.