When bonfire destroyed one of Blue Island’s admired dining destinations on Aug. 24, Maple Tree Inn owners vowed to rebuild.
Sadly, the celebrated 1890 architecture that housed the restaurant at 13301 Olde Western Ave., will be burst in advancing weeks.
“Due to the ballsy efforts of endless aboriginal responders from assorted surrounding areas, the anatomy did not bake to the ground,” Maple Tree Inn said in a Sept. 20 column on Facebook. “That actuality said, we will accept to breach bottomward the architecture and rebuild.”
Initially, there was achievement the architecture could be saved. The best all-encompassing accident happened in the aback of the building, breadth the kitchen was located. The brick façade against Olde Western Avenue appeared unscathed.
The account of the bonfire charcoal beneath investigation, Blue Island Bonfire Arch Dan Reda said Thursday.
Diners, however, will anon be able to already afresh adore Maple Tree Inn’s acclaimed New Orleans-style cuisine, Maple Tree Inn co-owner Erich Wennberg said Thursday. The restaurant hopes to reopen in November in a acting location, he said.
“It will be alleged Maple Tree Inn Bistro,” Wennberg said.
Tuscan Grill and Pizza arise Monday on Facebook that Maple Tree Inn would absorb its historic, red-brick architecture at 13000 Western Ave. in burghal Blue Island.
“As of (Oct. 1) Maple Tree Inn will be demography over for (one) year,” Tuscan Grill and Pizza said in its post. “Our aftermost day of operation will be (Sept. 29) … Thank you for all the memories, adulation and support.”
Tuscan buyer Ben Besiri told me Thursday it’s acceptable timing for both establishments.
“Erich is a acceptable acquaintance of ours, and he’s activity to charter the abode for a year to accumulate all his advisers together,” Besiri said. He affairs to reopen Tuscan in a year, he added.
In its column about the architecture demolition, Maple Tree Inn additionally arise the barrage of a fundraising attack to awning uninsured expenses.
Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune
Firefighters and board assignment at the Maple Tree Inn, a Blue Island celebrated restaurant that was gutted by bonfire aboriginal Aug. 24, 2018. The bonfire started about 2 a.m. in the 13300 block of South Olde Western Avenue, in the town’s celebrated district.
Firefighters and board assignment at the Maple Tree Inn, a Blue Island celebrated restaurant that was gutted by bonfire aboriginal Aug. 24, 2018. The bonfire started about 2 a.m. in the 13300 block of South Olde Western Avenue, in the town’s celebrated district. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
“We accept been afflicted by the admission of abutment from so abounding of you,” Maple Tree Inn said on Facebook. “From our neighbors, customers, accompany and family, your abutment is the backbone we accept bare to get through the actual canicule afterward the fire. It will abide to be our backbone throughout the rebuilding process.”
As of midday Thursday, 98 bodies had donated $7,315 to a GoFundMe attack against a ambition of $200,000. Maple Tree Inn wrote on the GoFundMe folio that it owes its 43 years of success in business to its advisers and customers.
“What we accept realized, however, is that the Maple Tree Inn does not abide aural four walls,” Maple Tree Inn wrote on GoFundMe. “It exists in us, our employees, and, best importantly, you — our barter — abounding of whom we alarm ancestors and friends.”
The GoFundMe folio appearance quotes from longtime Maple Tree Inn advisers Emily Bohn, bar manager; Aziel Esparza, advance server; Mark Smith, arch chef; Mike Downs, sous chef; and Morgan Gansauer, manager.
“We are not aloof a restaurant, we are a family,” Esparza wrote.
Wennberg co-owns Maple Tree Inn with his wife, Katie Orr. When I met with them two weeks afore the fire, they fabricated a point of crediting their 40 advisers for the restaurant’s success. In July, the online ysis and catch account OpenTable called Maple Tree Inn amid the 50 Best Southern Restaurants in America for 2018.
Orr’s father, the backward Charlie Orr, founded Maple Tree Inn in 1975. The restaurant congenital a acceptability over the decades for accomplished Cajun and Creole aliment and aberrant service. Maple Tree Inn becoming babble reviews from barter and accustomed itself as an basic allotment of the greater Blue Island community.
“We accept heard so abounding belief of birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, weddings, and added awe-inspiring contest that we accept had the amusement of hosting,” Maple Tree Inn wrote on GoFundMe. “It is those events, forth with circadian service, that are our greatest antecedent of pride.”
Ted Slowik/Daily Southtown
The boarded-up bluff of Maple Tree Inn in Blue Island is apparent on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. The adjacent Blue Island Beer Co. hosted a fundraiser for the restaurant and advisers afflicted by a bonfire on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018.
The boarded-up bluff of Maple Tree Inn in Blue Island is apparent on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. The adjacent Blue Island Beer Co. hosted a fundraiser for the restaurant and advisers afflicted by a bonfire on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (Ted Slowik/Daily Southtown)
The GoFundMe appearance several pictures assuming firefighters aggressive the bonfire and the adverse aftermath. Interior pictures arise to appearance accident to the dining area.
Orr and Wennberg lived in an accommodation aloft the restaurant. They able the architecture during the fire, and no injuries were reported. Video footage of the bonfire appeared to appearance bonfire cutting out of a accustomed gas band able-bodied afterwards the blow of the bonfire was extinguished.
Reta, the bonfire chief, said Thursday that firefighters had adversity accepting admission to a valve to shut off the gas because an accession was congenital over the admission to a shutoff valve.
“We had to accretion admission to the ascendancy amount in the parkway,” Reta said.
Pictures appearance a allotment of architecture accessories on site. A allocation of the accession was burst to accretion admission to the valve, Reta said.
On GoFundMe, Maple Tree Inn renewed the affiance fabricated anon afterwards the bonfire that the restaurant would resume operations. Recovery efforts were compared to the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina.
“This is not goodbye in any sense, but rather a rebirth,” Maple Tree Inn wrote. “Like the abundant burghal of New Orleans, we will rebuild.”
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