Yalies looking to escape the stress of midterms at BAR will have to wait at least another week until damage from last Thursday’s fire at the popular Crown Street nightclub can be repaired.
General Manager Danielle Ginnetti said BAR is still recovering from the fire, which damaged portions of the restaurant’s roof and second floor. In the meantime, other local businesses are mobilizing to support dozens of BAR employees who are temporarily out of work. Ginnetti said the nightclub, which hosts “Yale nights” on Thursdays, has been closed since the incident and will remain closed until repairs are complete.
“We are in the process of cleaning up, and we’re aiming to reopen within days, hopefully,” she said.
New Haven Fire Department officials said the fire, which took 50 firefighters roughly 20 minutes to extinguish, began while workers were repairing to the roof. New Haven Fire Marshal Joe Cappucci said the workers, who escaped unharmed, were using a propane torch when the roof rafters caught on fire.
“This is just an unfortunate, embarrassing accident,” Cappucci said.
Ginnetti said BAR is not currently pursuing a lawsuit related to the fire. The restaurant’s insurance, she said, will cover the damage.
Although Ginnetti said the damage will be fixed, several BAR employees said they are concerned about making ends meet until the restaurant is reopened.
Christine Oh ’07, who waitresses at BAR, said that while she will not suffer financially, several of her co-workers rely on their earnings from BAR as their primary source of income.
“I was only working once a week, so there wasn’t a whole lot of money coming in, but it’s cut down extra spending money for sure,” she said. “A lot of the other people that work there work there much more often and completely rely on BAR for rent and paying off loans.”
Ginnetti said that in the interim, BAR is paying nearly all of their more than 70 employees for helping clean up the building following the fire.
Gotham Citi Cafe, another local nightclub located on Crown Street, will hold a fundraising event on Monday to provide financial relief for BAR employees. Gotham Citi’s owner Rob Bartolomeo said 25 percent of the cocktail sales will go to BAR employees.
BAR’s closing has affected the business of several other nightclubs in the area.
Alchemy Manager Christopher Cirullo said the fire is a downturn for the entire city. He said BAR, which also serves fresh pizza, helps attract people to Crown Street and also attracts more customers to other nearby nightclubs in the city.
“BAR definitely complements a lot of the business down here,” he said. “They’re the yin to our yang.”
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