Route 28 plaza re­bounds from Fe­bru­ary fire

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jay Bra­man Jr. news@free­manon­

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.

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