A restaurant closed nine months ago after a giant sinkhole opened up in its parking lot is close to reopening. Buffalo's Southwest Cafe needs to hire two people to fill out its staff and finish the repaving of its parking lot before business resumes. Recent rain could push the completion of the work to midweek. "We're really excited about getting people back in here, the folks who worked here, the regulars we used to have that were great," said manager Theresa Travis. "We just don't want to give anybody false hope." The restaurant closed Aug. 17 when a drainage pipe under the parking lot ruptured in a heavy rain. Two holes opened, swallowing a Catawba man's Corvette. The bridge between them later collapsed, forming a crater about 120 feet wide and 40 feet deep. The hole stayed untouched for months because no one could figure out who should fix it. The city and state said it was up to restaurant owner Sean Morris to fix the hole because the pipe was on his property. Morris said he didn't have the money. The state threatened to condemn the property after nearby U.S. 70 flooded and Morris borrowed money to pay for the work. Managers have considered selling sinkhole T-shirts or hats but haven't developed any specific sinkhole items yet. "In the future," she said, "I'm sure we'll have a little fun with that."