A POPULAR Tullibody takeaway owner has been delighted with the response after reopening following a seven-month absence.

Majid Ali has been running the Chilli Express in Tullibody’s Tron Court for more than 10 years and has built a stellar reputation amongst the community.

Unfortunately, a fire earlier this year damaged the building so badly that it was forced to shut indefinitely.

Now, after seven long months away, the shop is finally back open and Majid has been overwhelmed with the response.

Majid said: “It’s been hectic [since it reopened] but it’s calming back down now.

“The community have really helped a lot, it’s a really nice community here and there’s a lot of love.”

An electrical fault caused by one of the canopies in the back was the culprit behind the fire.

It’s been a gruelling seven months for Majid, who explained he has been on the phone with the landlord and the insurance company every day trying to reopen the shop as soon as possible.

With the shutters having been down on the building for months, there was no idea when or if it would ever open back up.

Despite the doubt, Majid was always sure he would be returning.

On December 2, he posted on Facebook that the shop would be opening on either December 9 or 10.

He said: “I always knew I was going to come back because I’ve been here for that long and the community is really nice.

“It was a must [that the shop opened] because this place is my livelihood.

After working in other restaurants in the past, Majid opened the Chilli Express 12 years ago and turned the shop into a staple of the Tron Court.

Speaking to the Advertiser, it was clear the sense of relief he has in finally returning.

He said: “It feels great to have opened back up after seven months.”