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'Cafe Petra' owner talks about fire at restaurant

A Downtown Chico restaurant owner is temporarily closing his business after a fire happened at his restaurant Monday afternoon.

Posted: Apr 22, 2019 11:51 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- A Downtown Chico restaurant owner is temporarily closing his business after a fire happened at his restaurant Monday afternoon.

Cafe Petra owner, Mohammed Gordan, said it was fortunate that a passerby spotted the smoke or the building might have been destroyed. Still, there is significant smoke damage and now the owner said he is worried about losing customers he's worked hard to keep.

It's lights out for Cafe Petra after a fire broke out around the flue in the kitchen broiler, a big set back, Gordan said.

"Cause you know when you shut the door down and start doing the cleanup and the service and everything, it's going to take a couple of months to three months and this is where a lot of people find another place to go to," said Gordan. 

Chico Fire got a call from people who first saw smoke coming from Cafe Petra, a lucky thing Gordan says that prevented worse damage.

"The whole building would be down, the whole corner would be down. Not just our building, everybody all the way down to Diamond W," said Gordan.

He's worried about losing customers he's worked hard to keep.

"They're gonna see the whole area, it's closed. We're not gonna go downtown anymore cause not a lot of business live downtown. If you look at it, the whole area is dead. Three main restaurants closed downtown," said Jordan.

As for what's next for Cafe Petra, the reopening day is uncertain for now.

"I don't know, right now, with the contractors, cleaners to come over here, this is what will take the longest," said Gordan.

If one thing is certain, Gordan says, it's the support he's received after the fire.

"A lot of people calling the place, the facebook, just wondering what's happening, giving the support. Everybody says don't give up, we're not gonna give up, it's just gonna be a little tougher," said Gordan. 

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