No. 10 Top News Story: Fires at Main Street restaurants

12/23/2013 8:45 AM |
PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Emergency crews responded to a fire at Athens Grill on East Main Street.

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Emergency crews responded to a fire at Athens Grill on East Main Street.

Flames broke out at two different downtown Riverhead restaurants in a span of just a few days in June.

A grease fire caused by an unattended pan of bacon broke out at Cliff’s Rendezvous on June 25, forcing the popular East Main Street restaurant to shut its doors for a little over two months while owner Cliff Saunders repaired minor damage caused by the blaze. The casual bar and eatery reopened Sept. 7.

Just three days after the fire at Cliff’s Rendezvous, another grease fire occurred down the street, at Athens Grill. That blaze caused substantial damage to the building, particularly its roof, and the restaurant is still closed. No one was hurt in either fire.

Athens owner and chef John Mantzopoulos now plans to rebuild and reopen the eatery as Mazi.

“We wanted to put Athens Grill to rest,” Mr. Mantzopoulos said in July at a “Rebuild Athens” fundraiser hosted at The Suffolk Theater to raise money for the eatery’s restoration. A similar fundraiser was held the same month at The Riverhead Project.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.