Karma reopening
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Sep 09, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Karma reopening

Stratford Gazette

Jeff Heuchert editor@stratfordgazette.com

The owners of Karma Restaurant & Pizzeria plan to reopen the business's doors this week, four months after an electrical fire caused upwards of $100,000 of fire and smoke damage to the Downie Street eatery.

Mike Saunders told the Gazette last week he was waiting for a final inspection of the new ventilation and fire suppression systems he's installed in the kitchen – two of several upgrades that have occurred as a result of the fire, which is believed to have started with some faulty wiring in the basement ceiling.

Saunders and his wife Sherry have updated all of the wiring as well as installed a new walk-in cooler and replaced tiles on the floor and stairs in the basement that sustained damage. The Saunders also had all of the furniture professionally cleaned after the restaurant sustained smoke damage. They also took the downtime to repaint the restaurant.

The fire in May started around 1:30 p.m. but no one in the restaurant or upstairs apartment was injured. Staff noticed the fire when black smoke began billowing from the basement.

Saunders said the business was fully insured, and that as tenants of the building they have received payments covering the losses from the interruption in service.

Because he was unsure of the exact date of the restaurant's reopening, Saunders said he wouldn't be planning anything special to mark the day, but he has plans for the future, including applying for a liquor licence.

In keeping with the restaurant's family atmosphere, Saunders said his intention is not to appeal so much to the Saturday night crowd, but to give his patrons the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine or beer with dinner, or have a drink while waiting to pick up their pizza.

Despite being open only two months before the fire forced the doors closed, Saunders said running his own restaurant was a tremendous experience he looks forward to continuing.

"I had quite (a few) regulars who have been asking me how things are going and have been very supportive," he added.

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