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Off Vine Fire: Severe Damage, Owners Will Reopen

Photo from LAFD, Flickr

We got an email late yesterday: "I was having a late Sunday snack at the Waffle this afternoon with a friend when we noticed a HUGE plume of black smoke coming from behind Magnolia. I was parked right in front of Magnolia, so I decided to hightail it and moved my car a couple of blocks over. As I was walking back, I noticed it was the wooden building behind Magnolia (which I'm almost certain is Off vine) fully ablaze. Fire trucks came within 10 minutes and put out the fire within a half hour or so. I'd be really bummed out if this was Off Vine; I'm hoping they'll be back on their feet soon." Sad, but true: Off Vine suffered severe fire damage from the blaze that started around 5:20pm. The restaurant was full. From the LAFD blog:

Firefighters arrived quickly at the popular 'Off Vine' restaurant to find nearly 90 dinner patrons and staff safely evacuated from the 1,652 square-foot building, a century old one-story craftsman style residence with a modern attic conversion to form a two-story restaurant.

With much of the restaurant well-involved with fire, Firefighters mounted a bold offense against the stubborn flames that had taken hold of many recesses within the much-remodeled structure. The progressive fire attack, combined with strategic vertical ventilation, allowed Firefighters to confine the damage and extinguish the flames in just 34 minutes...Loss from the fire has been estimated at $450,000 ($300,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause of the swift-moving blaze was determined to be electrical in nature.

An eyewitness told LAist: "You could feel the heat taking over. It was scary how fast the fire engulfed the upstairs." Two firefighters suffered injuries, and dozens stayed to help salvage valuables like the wine collection and business records from the basement.

Last fall, partners Richard Falzone, Tony Hernandez and Greg Fedderly took over Off Vine, which opened in 1989, from original owner Nick Salamone. An obviously shaken Falzone told us this morning:

My business partners and myself feel lucky and blessed that no one was hurt, that we got everyone out. Our staff acted in the most professional manner possible, and, as far as I'm concerned, they're all heroes. We definitely plan on rebuilding and thank everyone for their concern and support."
· Off Vine Restaurant Fire: 'You could feel the heat taking over' [LAist]
· Fire Damageds Off Vine Restaurant in Hollywood [KCAL9]
· Blaze Erupts at Landmark Hollywood Restaurant [LAFD Blog]