Cazuela’s Grill is back in business after a small fire closed the restaurant’s doors for more than a week.
The Mexican bar and restaurant reopened Friday after smoke from a small fire damaged wood on the exterior of the building Jan. 9.
The restaurant was closed at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported, 3rd Battalion Chief Rick Artrip said Jan. 9.
“We were asked a lot when it was going to open (after the fire),” said Susan Martin, director of operations for Eventide, which owns the building where Cazuela’s is located at 2247 N. High St.
Martin said there were “very minor damages” to the building and did not know how much the damages would cost because the building was re-opened with a temporary fix.
“The temporary fix will last until we do the permanent fix but the permanent fix needs to go through city permitting so it will last as long as it needs to,” Martin said. “Temporary allowed us to get it open. We walled off the damaged area.”
The damages were on the exterior of the building, so the temporary fix did not affect seating for Cazuela’s.
Jessica Quedada, a manager at Cazuela’s, said Friday the restaurant was focusing on getting customers to come back after the closure.
“I think the people thought we would be closed for a long time so we hardly have any customers right now, so we’re trying to let people know that we’re open again,” Quedada said.
She said the closure affected some employees.
“If we were closed, this is their only job, so they don’t make any money for the whole week and a half,” Quedada said.
An employee at Cazuela’s said Monday the restaurant was not disclosing how much the fire would affect it financially but that business was “pretty good.”
Artrip said he believed the equipment that plumbers were using to reheat and repair frozen pipes started the fire. Temperatures hit a low of 21 degrees in Columbus Jan. 9, days after reaching minus 9 degrees Jan. 6, according to Weather Underground.
Andrew Stiene, a fourth-year in biology and physical education, said he is a frequent visitor of Cazuela’s and was sad to hear the restaurant was closed.
“I felt like a part of me was missing (while it was closed),” he said. “It was a tradition. Me and my roommates would go there every Friday night, have (margaritas). It kind of broke tradition.
“I’m extremely excited now (that the restaurant has re-opened),” Stiene said.
Other students were also disappointed Cazuela’s was closed, even for a short time.
“It kind of sucks (that Cazuela’s was closed),” said Emily Cramer, a second-year in marketing. “They have really good tacos and it’s cheap.”
Martin said, though, she was happy the fire didn’t spread more than it did.
“It could have been (worse),” Martin said. “Thank God it wasn’t.”