The owners of the popular Coleraine noodle bar that was devastated by fire on Valentine’s night say they will do all they can to reopen their Riverside Regional Centre restaurant as soon as possible.
Yoko Noodle Bar was packed full of Valentine’s night diners when a fire started in the kitchen at around 6.30pm.
Thankfully staff and customers were evacuated safely and there were no reports of any injuries.
This week, in a statement on their facebook page, the owners have confirmed that the fire was started in a salamander grill in the kitchen.
The restaurant which employs around 40 staff, has been totally destroyed by the blaze.
The statement on the YOKO facebook page said: “We would also like to take this opportunity to let you all know that we value all our staff and customers and will do everything we can to get Yoko Noodle Bar back up and running as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the adjoining Indian restaurant, Indus Valley, is also closed.
Speaking to The Times on Friday, owner Syed Amed told The Times: “My restaurant was packed, we had 72 diners in on Valentine’s Night.
“Taking into account the damage to the premises, loss of business and loss of produce, I would say this has cost me in the region of £100,000, but I want to make things right.
“But, I am hopeful that I can be back in business again within the next three to four weeks.”
The smell of smoke was still rife in the restaurant one week after the blaze. Water damage was also visibile throughout the restaruant, and there is a large hole in the roof.
Elected representatives have offered their support to the staff and owners of the businesses affected.
DUP Alderman James McClure: “The incident and closure of the business is a crushing blow for all concerned.
Alliance councillor Yvonne Boyle was in the vicinity when the fire broke out last Friday night.
“It is devastating to see a successful business destroyed by an accidental fire. We must be thankful that no-one was hurt,” said the Alliance woman.
DUP councillor George Duddy has also sent his support to the staff.
He described the fire as a ‘blow to the economy’.