A nine-month wait is almost over for fans of an Oregon District restaurant forced to close due to fire damage.
Chef Margot Blondet announced the reopening dates of her business, Salar Restaurant and Lounge, on Sunday.
Salar and a half-dozen other nearby businesses received major smoke and/or fire damage when a blaze broke out at the restaurant early Friday, Dec. 29, 2017.
All other businesses have returned to regular operations.
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Here’s what to expect from Salar this week:
SOFT OPENING: The restaurant located at 400 E. Fifth St. will begin its three-day soft opening this Thursday, Sept. 27 with special ticketed events Thursday through Saturday.
The soft opening dates will serve as fundraisers for Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Burn Program to help provide burn kits to families in-need that financially cannot afford to purchase the necessary medical supplies to treat injuries, the restaurant said.
Tickets are $10 each and do not include food, beverage, tax or gratuity. Reservations can be made at salarrestaurant.com/event-tickets.
GRAND OPENING: A grand opening party is slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.
Tickets to the grand opening party are also $10 appetizers and entertainment will be provided.
REGULAR SERVICE: Regular operating hours begin Oct. 1. Salar will be open seven days a week, with the bar opening at 4 p.m. and the kitchen opening at 5 p.m. daily.
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Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., plans to open its doors in September, manager Meg Shaw confirmed with us this morning.
“As of right now, we have September as an opening timeline. We will have further details and final dates coming soon. In the meantime, we are continuing to hire,” she said.
The restaurant has been closed since a fire just before New Year’s Eve. Other businesses damaged in the blaze have re-opened.
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“It’s a roller coaster. We’ve been working since day one trying to reopen,” Margot Blondet, the owner of Salar Restaurant and Lounge at 400 E. Fifth St., said. “We are going to change the bar, add a new foyer. When you come in it, is going to be more welcoming.”
Blondet recently signed a new lease with Adil Baguirov, the building’s owner, and plans to reopen the restaurant she launched in 2013 this summer.
She plans to meet with an architect Thursday and is awaiting permits from the city.
>> Salar owner after fire: ‘My heart is broken for my people’ (Dec. 30, 2017)
There will also be a larger back patio dining area to enhance the experience for customers who want an al fresco ambiance.
The restaurant will have an expanded spirits and wine menu.
Salar and a half-dozen other nearby businesses received major smoke damage when fire broke out at the restaurant early Friday, Dec. 29, 2017.
Hicks Barber Shop and Shave Parlor in the Emporium building at 400 E. Fifth St. has reopened. Spice Paradise is planning to reopen this week.
The fire is believed to have been electrical in nature, Blondet said.
Much of the fire damage was contained to the center of the building and the second floor, but there was smoke damage throughout.
The restaurant’s kitchen and main dining room were mostly intact, but a pantry, office and dishwashing area had extensive fire damage.
Blondet said she lost many things that have sentimental value, including her cooking jackets, notes and cookbooks.
“I was washing everything with my bare hands because I refuse to give up,” she said.
She expects about half of the 35 people she employed to return, but says others, including her management team, have moved on to new opportunities.
Blondet expects to begin hiring as soon as she get permits from the city of Dayton.
Getting restarted should be easier than when the business first opened, she said.
“You know where you made mistakes so you can fix them,” Blondet said. “It is having a second chance.”