Route 28 plaza rebounds from February fire
The blaze did little structural damage, but all the businesses had to close due to smoke and water damage.
PHOENICIA >> Nearly nine months after a fire forced it to close, the Phoenicia Plaza on state Route 28 is coming to life again with tenants old and new.
Resort Ridge Pizza, owned by John Blydenburg, is to reopen Saturday. And at a meeting last month, the town of Shandaken Planning Board reviewed applications for two new businesses that plan to operate in the plaza. One, a day care center, was approved; the other, a bar/restaurant, is awaiting approval.
Dan Hellmayer plans to open the eating/drinking establishment in the section of the plaza that formerly housed Smokin’ Boars BBQ.
“Basically we want to put a bar in that location,” he told the Planning Board.
A former executive chef at Talde in Jersey City, N.J., Hellmayer expects to serve dinner at his new business every night.
Town Building Inspector Warren Tutt said Hellmayer’s internal set-up will be similar to Smokin’ Boars but that Hellmayer plans to add a doorway for easier access to an outdoor deck.
Tutt said that the interior of the location is “a blank slate” because it had to be gutted after the Feb. 25 fire, which started in the kitchen area. That fire was responsible for the closure of the entire plaza and caused one popular tenant, Miss Kitty’s Hair Salon, to relocate to Boiceville.
Phoenicia resident Grace Ann Louis, who runs a daycare center in her home, was granted approval by the Planning Board to move her operation into the location vacated by Miss Kitty’s.
“I actually think it’s a good thing for the community,” said board member Art Christie.
Neither of the new enterprises will spring up overnight. Hellmayer still needs to get a liquor license, and Louis is amid a state-required 90day waiting period for profit-making daycare centers.
The fire did little structural damage to the plaza, but all the businesses had to close due to smoke and water damage.
The week after the fire, Tutt said he had inspected the premises and concluded it was fit for occupancy.
“The fire company did a good job,” he said at the time. “They contained the fire. There was no structural damage. Plus the owner was there to unlock and let the fire company in so they didn’t have to break through the glass or anything like that.”
Tutt was one of the first on the scene when the fire broke and said he immediately turned off the propane tanks that served Smokin Boars.
The Phoenicia Plaza is shown on Tuesday.