The good news this week rising out of the ashes of the downtown Silver Spring fire that consumed the Bombay Gaylord restaurant and left Quarry House Tavern soaked and smoke-stained is that the nearby Kefa Café plans to reopen as early as next week and the Mandarin Chinese Restaurant has already reopened.
The bad news is that the future of Quarry House and Bombay Gaylord is uncertain.
Abbe Levin, owner of the building housing the two restaurants, said Tuesday investigators are still examining the part of the property that Bombay Gaylord and Quarry House occupy to determine if it’ll be possible to rebuild and if it’s safe to work on the interior. The March 19 fire was concentrated in the Indian restaurant on the ground floor; the tavern is located below ground.
“I wish I had answers because I would love to know,” Levin said, “but I really don’t.”
She said Kefa Café’ is cleaning up damage from the smoke. The café posted on its Facebook page that it’s “On the road to recovery” and plans to be closed for another week. An employee at the Mandarin, which is located at 8411 Georgia Ave., said Tuesday they were closed for two days after the fire, but then reopened.
The fire left a blackened Bombay Gaylord dining room in its wake and Levin said “the building took a lot of damage.”
“Nothing from the ground floor up is going to happen fast,” Levin said.
She added that it’s her hope to at least get Quarry House to open again. The tavern suffered smoke and water damage as firefighters extinguished the two-alarm blaze. Firefighters also ripped the walls out of the tavern to ensure the fire didn’t extend elsewhere.
The fire could have caused more damage had patrons inside the tavern not smelled smoke and called firefighters, according to Levin.
“As sad as it is for my tenants…it certainly could have been much worse,” Levin said. “Thank God people stay up and drink late.”
Levin said she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to rebuild the building as it was. The building was constructed in 1928, according to state assessment records. She said she’s waiting to hear back from insurance investigators.
“We’re anxiously waiting to hear what they tell us,” Levin said.
Jackie Greenbaum, the owner of the Quarry House, said in an email she hopes to rebuild and reopen the tavern.
“We’ve no idea right now how long the timeline is,” Greenbaum said, “but hope to have more information within a week as various inspections take place.”
She said the 17 staff members who work at the tavern are doing well.
“Given the fact that their beloved workplace was suddenly taken away from them, I think the staff is in pretty high spirits,” Greenbaum said. “The outpouring of love and support from our patrons and community is pretty overwhelming.”
On March 21 the restaurant held a fundraiser for the staff members at Jackie’s, another restaurant Greenbaum owns in Silver Spring. Greenbaum said they raised about $2,500 in donations that night, which she says will be added to an Indiegogo campaign started by several friends and Quarry House regulars to help the staff. As of Wednesday morning, the campaign has raised a little more than $9,600. Another fundraiser is scheduled this Saturday at the School of Rock in Silver Spring.
Above: Flames extend out from the Bombay Gaylord Restaurant on Georgia Ave. Photo via Dani Morris on the Quarry House Facebook Page.