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The Station Bar and Grill closed about six months ago and was to be reopened by Debbie and Steve McLew on January 6 as the Rock Bar and Grill.
The couple took over the lease on Christmas Eve and spent their summer break cleaning up the place.
Four days before the scheduled opening, just before midnight, a police patrol car noticed a fire in the building, which had only just been lit.
It was quickly extinguished by the Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade but the damage meant the bar was unable to open as planned.
''It's just heartbreaking, it really, really is. I'm just beside myself; I'm just gutted,'' Mrs McLew said yesterday.
It could be up to four weeks before it can open to the public, missing much of the holiday trade.
Alexandra police are still investigating the fire.