On New Year's Day, fire heavily damaged a family-run business in Fairport. Now, more than six months later, the restaurant is almost ready to reopen.
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Compané Brick Oven Bistro on North Main Street in Fairport had only been open for six months when an electrical fire caused heavy damage in the early hours of New Year's Day.
“You could see it from way up on Main Street. The flames were very big,” said Kristina Cristofori.
At the time of the fire, the owners of Compané were overcome by emotion.
"I really felt bad for my dad, because for months he had worked really hard to put this together, so for it to only be open for a little bit and for this to happen on New Year’s Eve, it was really, really overwhelming,” said Kristina.
Although firefighters were able to save the building, it suffered a lot of smoke and water damage, but the rebuilding process is moving along. The electrical work is done. The heating and cooling vents are in and the dry wall should be completed in another day or so.
"All of the furniture and decor was saved, so when you walked in the restaurant you will still have a lot of the same tables, chairs, couches, artwork,” said Kristina.
One of the items that survived the fire included a chalkboard. It still hangs on the wall and was used to greet the customers on New Year’s Eve, the last night the restaurant was open."
"It's kind of ironic that after the fire, and water coming in here, when we walked in literally the day after the fire, it was not even touched,” said Kristina.
What has touched the owners is the outpouring of support from their customers, and because of that encouragement, the Cristofori family is making every effort to bring the restaurant back by month's end.
"It's nice to hear people asking when we're opening, how it's going. Again, that's just the type of community we live in,” said Guido Cristofori.
Instead of looking back on that sad New Year’s Day, the family is focusing on the future. They say the new Compané will be just like the original that customers came to love.
“A lot of people talk about when they leave, how comfortable they were during their visit. We're just going to try and maintain that,” said Guido.