Owner expects 2 downtown restaurants to be open Wednesday night despite fire

Owner expects 2 downtown restaurants to be open Wednesday night despite fire

CINCINNATI - Despite an afternoon fire causing some damage, the owner of two downtown Cincinnati restaurants says they expect both to be open for business Wednesday night.

The Cincinnati Fire department responded to a blaze inside Sotto around noon.

Assistant Fire Chief of Fire Operations Tom Lakamp said the fire originated in the basement of Sotto in a 'wood-fire cooking operation.' He said a build up of grease in the exhaust system heated up and caught fire, traveling up through the ducts to the roof.

Firefighters said crews were able to extinguish the fire by introducing water from the roof that poured down through the ducts.

Lakamp called the efforts 'tough' because Sotto and neighboring restaurant Boca share a wall that house the ducts, so firefighters had to tear down walls of Boca to get to the fire.

Boca and Sotto share an owner as well as a wall, Lakamp said.

Chef and owner of Boca and Sotto David Falk said Boca will be open Wednesday and expect Sotto to be open for dinner.

"We are very appreciative of the Cincinnati Fire Department, their hard work and response was incredible. I want to thank the group of firefighters and the whole crew that responded, they were outstanding." said Falk.

Fire crews worked to prevent water damage to other restaurants while they battled the fire, Lakamp said.

It took fire personnel about 2 hours to expose and extinguish all the hot spots in the building.

Damage is estimated at $20,000.

No injuries were reported.

Lakamp said the fire was the 'exact same situation' as a fire at Boco in the same building 18 months ago.

Fire crews evacuated Sotto but Boca was not open at the time of the fire. Crews also worked to evacuate smoke from the building then spoke with owners about what they need to do before they can reopen, as well as how to prevent another fire like this, Lakamp said.

See video below:

Firetrucks and first responders blocked off traffic in the area.

In 2016, a fire broke out at Boca and caused $100,000 damages. The building used to be home to the legendary Maisonette restaurant.

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