Actually, I guess it's probably not on fire any more. But Deluxe and Delite, Dylan Moore's two excellent, side-by-side operations at 30 and 32 South Broadway, respectively, were on fire an hour or so ago. Both places took a hit. By the time I got there, the flames were gone but the traffic was a nightmare, with fire trucks still on scene and the smoke curling out and down along Broadway.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that no one was hurt (both Deluxe and Delite were closed at the time), and no serious or lasting damage was done to either location (except, of course, where the fire department kicked in the doors and chopped its way in through the back of the building).
I talked with Moore briefly, between his chats with the fire inspectors and the health department, and it looks as though he'll be able to get both places open tomorrow. "Wednesday at the latest," he insisted.
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The way things look right now, Moore was lucky -- relatively speaking. The fire damage was mostly contained to his and sous chef Andrew Hardin's offices, as well as the room used for liquor storage. And while I could certainly smell the smoke in both dining rooms while walking through with Hardin, no actual fire touched either dining room nor the kitchen the two places share.
Moore wasn't there when the fire started. "No one was," he told me. "My neighbor from the head shop called, man. And he said, 'Your building's on fire, bro.'" Moore then made for his restaurants at top speed, and by the time he got there, the fire department (and six trucks) had already arrived.
There's no word yet on what might have caused the fire. But Moore's confident that Deluxe and Delite will come out the better for this mishap. "You know," he said as we stepped out back to survey the worst of the damage, "people have been telling me for years that I've got to put some kind of little patio back here or something."
He gestured to the broken-in wall, the inspectors taking their pictures, the smoke still sharp on the air. "I'm thinking maybe a little beer garden. What do you think?"