ew uh.

devoted to the NOT.

greek town on the ground.

many of you have probably read about the unfortunate tragedy of a fire that erupted in greek town last night/this morning. fortunately no one was hurt, but being pretty proud of my greek heritage and attempting to visit a few times a month to support greek chicagoins, this comes as a shock. my heart goes out to the owners and employees of costa’s and any other business that will be affected by the aftermath.

here’s the wgn breaking news article:

A bartender at a Greektown restaurant destroyed in an extra-alarm fire early this morning said the blaze started in a deep fryer and he tried in vain to put it out with a fire extinguisher.

Paul Kret said he and another worker were the only people inside Costa’s Greek Dining and Bar at 340 S. Halsted St., and were about to shut the doors for the evening when he smelled smoke from the kitchen at about 11:20 p.m.

Kret, who has worked in the restaurant for 11 years, said he checked in the kitchen and saw heavy smoke. He said he used a fire extinguisher and the fire seemed to be out, but then flamed back up.

He said he ran out to the street and called 911 and watched the fire quickly spread through the restaurant.
“Forty-five employees have no job this morning,” Kret said as he looked at the gutted building.

He said the staff were very close to patrons and knew many of them by their first name.

A Fire Department spokesman said they were investigating the fryer as the possible cause, but no final determination had been made. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters were called to the two-story building about 11:35 p.m. Sunday, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

The fire quickly rose to a three-alarm, then a four-alarm as it spread to a building to the north that houses Athens Grocery, the Pan Hellenic Pastry Shop and Greektown Gift and Music Shop.

The fire was initially struck out shortly after 3 a.m. today, but officials said they were still on the scene as they worked to shut gas service off.

Brent Sonin, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, smelled smoke and walked over with friends from his residence hall. They arrived to find flames pouring from the roof. He said he saw firefighters opening the roof with axes and breaking out all the windows.
“We had to leave because the smoke was too thick,” Sonin said.

Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis described the restaurant as “a complete loss.”

A two-block radius around the restaurant was closed to traffic. Jackson Boulevard and Van Buren Street was blocked westbound from Halsted Street, and Halsted was blocked in both directions between Harrison and Adams streets. They will be closed for most of the morning, for the cleanup and investigation, Curtis said.

The CTA rerouted its No. 8 Halsted and No. 126 Jackson buses.

About 45 fire companies were called to the scene, with more than 150 fire personnel assisting in fighting the fire, Curtis said.

Leah Carroll, 43, said the restaurant was her favorite in the neighborhood and had eaten there at least once a week, sometimes more, for the last four years.
Carroll was shopping in the neighborhood today and was headed back to her Logan Square home when she discovered the restaurant was gone.

“It’s so sad, a lot of people lost their jobs,” said Carroll, adding that the eatery drew her to the area. “I guess I won’t come any more, it will be missed.” -Alejandra Cancino and Deanese Williams-Harris

obviously the photo above isn’t from the actual fire, but from the riots that broke out last winter in athens, greece. we’ve all seen burned down buildings, i’m not trying to be a reporter, just a word spreader (i know, poor language, sue me). what pisses me off are some of the comments written in response to the writeup. is saying ‘opaaaa!’ and ‘they were eating saganaki before hand’ very tasteful? fuck people, opa?! really? yea, we’re celebrating by burning shit to the ground. grow up, this is your city. respect it. u(g)h.


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5 Responses

  1. Demitra says:

    This is so upsetting! Costas is gone – 45 employees out of work. I honestly am in shock, I don’t know what to say! The Greek community should come together to show it’s support and help costas be rebuit!

  2. christkappos says:

    the greek community should indeed come together. that’s a great idea, hopefully someone will put together a fundraiser of some sort.

  3. Neal_Patel says:

    I have mad love for Greektown, and it really sucks to lose a job in this economic environment. It’s a shame that this sort of thing has to happen in the part of town where they treat you with a lot of kindness & respect, as opposed to in, say, Lincoln Park. 🙂 Just kidding.

  4. Jimmy says:

    I got word of this from a friend that night but he was not sure it was Costas or not as he watched the fire burn down a building. Thank god for business insurance and unemployment… Should help them rebuild and get things going again. If you look at the silver lining this is an opportunity for the owners to start a new. Best of luck to them, and our ever so important Greek town strip. (hopefully a sprinkler system this time around).

  5. pete says:

    great picture. reminds me of a former wrage. will a wrage live show ever written up about on this site!

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