• Weekend fire puts Favaloro’s out of commission

    What started as a problem with a transformer in last weekend’s wind and rainstorm wound up putting Favaloro’s Big Night Bistro out of business for weeks. PG&E crews working on the transformer turned the power back on and heard a popping sound. Seems a fire had started in the electrical panel in the rear of Favaloro’s. PG&E workers immediately called the fire department, which responded with four engines and a ladder truck plus other equipment. The kitchen and rest room at the restaurant have sustained a lot of fire, smoke and water damage but the fire was contained in the back of the building.

    No one was injured in the incident.

    It could have been a lot worse. Favaloro’s is one of a row of Victorian-era buildings on Lighthouse Avenue and it could easily have spread to other buildings and upstairs residences. A brick firewall gets part of the credit, along with quick response by firefighters. The staircase leading upstairs to the apartment above Favaloro’s are charred, but the apartment sustained no more than smoke damage at this writing. It is a vacation rental and the tenants had vacated on Jan. 16, so there was no one home.

    Including the Favaloros. Each year, after the holidays, they have been treating themselves to a two-week Hawaiian vacation. They were just boarding the plane to return to Pacific Grove when a friend of one of the Favaloro youngsters “texted” that there were fire engines at the restaurant. It was confirmed by a phone call, but just then the cabin announcement came to shut off cell phones, and the family had to fly all the way home not knowing what they’d find when they got here.

    The restaurant had been remodeled about five years ago, but an inspection of the electrical system at the time shows that it was in good condition so no changes were made at the time. The Favaloros plan to restore everything just the way it was and reopen in a few weeks, according to Marie Favaloro.

    Building inspectors, fire department officials and insurance people and contractors were already making assessments the morning after the fire. There is a suggestion that it was a power surge but that cannot be confirmed at this time.

    Next door at Marita’s Shoes, it’s as if there wasn’t a problem at all. The air is sweet and the merchandise dry. Marita Johnson is thankful, she said, that the whole block didn’t go up in flames.

    On the other side of the Bistro, where Grove Nutrition was,  is a vacant building where the Favaloros plan to resurrect Cafe Arianna, a popular coffee house and lunch spot. They will continue with those plans amid the reconstruction at the Big Night Bistro, as permits are already in place. They plan for it to be a little more casual than the Bistro, which will be a dinner spot while the Cafe will open for lunch and late-night trade.



    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 24, 2012

    Topics: Front PG News


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