Toronto restaurant devastated by fire that almost completely destroyed the place
A devastating fire broke out in a Toronto restaurant's kitchen exactly a week ago in the morning, totally destroying the entire place.
The worst part is, this has happened going into one of their busiest times of the year.
Hong Shing has long been a beloved restaurant for late night Chinese food, but when a fire broke out at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 29 while they were prepping to open, it threw a major wrench into their plans to continue to emerge from lockdowns.
Someone was actually trapped in the basement by the fire but was rescued, and Hong Shing owner Colin Li tells blogTO that "luckily everyone got out safe."
"The kitchen appliances are damaged from fridges to wok ranges and hood vent that needs to be replaced," Li tells blogTO. "We are currently still assessing the cost to fix the damages."
They're still assessing the cost of all the damages.
"We thank the fire department for acting quickly and swiftly," says Li.
Hong Shing posted updates to their social media announcing that while everyone was ok, they would be temporarily closed until further notice.
The restaurant posted disappearing photos of the aftermath to their Instagram story, showing a printer and an actual roasted duck from the fire both burnt to a crisp.
"Comeback szn," read one post. "Guess it is time for a new look! Restaurant year 24, Hong Shing brand year one." Another photo posted reading "comeback season" showing the wrecked interior of the restaurant says "time to clean up and get it back to shape!"
This is especially unfortunate timing not only because Hong Shing has just recently been able to welcome back dine-in customers and was on track to finish the year strong. Their 25th anniversary is also around the corner.
"This definitely impacted business as we were going into one of the busiest months of the year for us," says Li.
"We are sad that we cannot accommodate to everyone's reservation for the month of December. Personally, it has impacted us as we were going strong into the last month of the year, and for something like this to happen, is heartbreaking to experience."
Still, you don't stick around in Toronto for 25 years with a bad attitude, and Hong Shing is optimistic about their reopening plans.
"We are hopeful that now we can look ahead and be excited for upgrades for the restaurant especially leading into next year," says Li.
"There are not many places in the city around for 25 years, and for us to have a chance to give it a facelift, we are excited to share to our loyal fans and create a better experience with them."
More recently, Hong Shing has posted photos to their Instagram story showing they're making progress on rewiring, dry wall and clearing out debris.
They're currently upgrading the kitchen and dining room and have ambitions to reopen in less than three weeks, by Christmas. They're also hoping to reopen for takeout and delivery even sooner, before reopening their dining room.
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