HANALEI — One of Kauai’s best restaurants will be closed until March following a kitchen fire Thursday night.
Around 80 restaurant staff and guests were evacuated after a fire started in the gas grill at the Mediterranean Gourmet. No injuries were reported at the oceanside restaurant, located four miles north of Hanalei on Kuhio Highway.
“Thank goodness, nobody was hurt,” said Yarrow Beydoun, owner.
Kauai Fire Department’s Engine 1, Truck 1, Truck 8, along with the Prevention Bureau, responded to the 8:40 p.m. alarm. Restaurant staff had the fire out before KFD arrived.
There was not much structure damage, considering, Beydoun added. The flames shot up from the gas grill through the protective canopy and burning part of the ceiling.
KFD credited fast action with hand-held fire extinguishers and garden hoses with suppressing the fire. Firefighters followed through by exposing a portion of the roof and removing the damaged mechanical roof mounted vent to extinguish the remaining areas in the crawl space above the grill.
No other structures were threatened by the fire, which was deemed fully extinguished around 9:45 p.m., according to a county press release on Friday. A vent fan was used to ventilate the main seating area of the restaurant.
KFD estimated the damages to the kitchen, exhaust system and roof at $50,000. Beydoun was waiting for the insurance agent on Friday.
“We are assessing the damage,” Beydoun said. “We will not open for the rest of this month, at least.”
The restaurant is normally open for lunch and dinner, with a Tuesday luau and Sunday brunch.
Beydoun could not estimate what the loss of business would total for being closed until March.
“This is very busy time of year,” she added.
Mediterranean Gourmet opened in 2006. This is the first time the restaurant experienced a fire.
A staff of 45 employees will be involved with cleanup or not working until repairs are made and the restaurant.