GRAYTON BEACH — The rebuilding of Grayton Beach's beloved Red Bar is set to begin within the next few weeks.

Oliver Petit, part-owner of the former bar at 70 Hotz Ave., said he plans to have The Red Bar back to its former, eccentric glory by the end of year.

"We've narrowed it down to two construction companies and the decision is hopefully going to be made by next week," Petit said Thursday. "We all agree six months is a reasonable time period to put it all together.

"We’re working really hard at buying reclaimed wood and copying the old structure to a T," he continued. "We plan to be ready by next season."

The Red Bar was a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike. It was widely known for its unique decor, dedication to hosting local musicians, big Sunday crowds and Bloody Marys.

It was reduced to shambles Feb. 13, however, when electrical issues in the front dining area caused a fire. A portion of the bar's gift shop was the only section of the structure left standing.

Petit said the owners have only one shot at replicating the bar, so they want to be sure the construction crews chosen can rebuild the structure in the time, budget and specifications they require.

"After this we will no longer be grandfathered into the old building code," Petit said. "If you lose 60 percent or more of your structure, you have to rebuild to the new structure code. We're going to rebuild The Red Bar back to exactly how it was before the fire."

As far as decorating the bar the way it had been, Petit said he and his father resemble folks on the TV show, "American Pickers." He said he has a storage unit full of art, furniture and knick-knacks that will go back into the bar.

"That part is the fun part, so I'm looking forward to decorating," Petit said. "We will also put a variety of things we saved from the fire back into the bar and mention them as 'a fire survivor.'"

Petit said now, even though it's hard at times, he and his staff are focusing on the positives of the situation.

"We're still grieving," Petit said. "We were devastated not to be able to start the season, but that's the reality of what's happening.

""We're looking at the opportunity that's in front of us now, not what we've missed. Thankfully we have the option to rebuild and come back."