[Photo by EVG reader Joaquin]
As we first reported yesterday morning, a fire broke out at Caracas Arepa Bar, 93 E. Seventh St. just east of First Avenue.
No one was injured during the fire. (The FDNY has yet to determine the cause.)
EVG readers who saw the scorched space yesterday said that it looks in bad shape.
Here's a description of the damage from co-owner Maribel Araujovia via Grub Street:
While the street-facing front of Caracas was spared, half of the restaurant — including the kitchen, bathroom, refrigeration, part of the office, and the back half of the basement — essentially “burned down,” Araujo says. Walls are ruined, the basement was flooded with a foot and a half of water, and there is currently no electricity or gas.
Arujo was more blunt with Gothamist: "The restaurant is pretty fucked up."
The damage was contained to the restaurant.
As several EVG commenters noted, the FDNY was on the scene about 2:30 a.m. after residents reported smoke.
Tenants on the second floor, who live directly above the restaurant, smelled smoke early this morning and the fire department was dispatched to the address around 2:30 a.m. The FDNY performed some kind of investigation but didn't find anything at the time, neighbors tell Araujo. The fire department was called again at 7:25 a.m. when the same neighbors awoke to find their apartment filled with more smoke.
While dealing with the temporary loss of her business, Araujo also has questions as to why the fire wasn't discovered earlier, which could have prevented things from getting quite so bad.
For now, the smaller Caracas space is open next door for counter service and to-go orders ... here are the signs that greet customers...
There's isn't any timeline on the restaurant's return. It likely won't be anytime soon, though.
To Grub Street:
“It’s not just a little thing we can fix quickly, put drywall up, and keep going,” Araujo says. Getting back to business will take some time: Leases and inventory need to be looked at, and conversations need to be had with lawyers and insurers. “Maybe we’ll relocate, maybe we’ll try to rebuild this one. At this point, I’m not sure.”
There's also a location in Williamsburg. The Venezuelan restaurant has been open on Seventh Street since 2003.
And here's their message to patrons ...
Just wanted to let everyone know that YES, it is true that Caracas Dining Room / East Village had a big fire this early morning. No one got hurt. This location is temporarily closed but the Original Caracas (takeout next door) is OPEN and we need your support. We are assessing the situation and the future of this location is to be determined. We want to THANK everyone that has been reaching out and looking after us and to the #eastvillage community for been so great and concerned. Thank YOU Thank YOU ❤️