Chip shop is back open after blaze in Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A popular fish and chip shop has started frying again after reopening following a fire which gutted the premises.
Owner Joe Rosati was under the impression that the Village Rise Fish and Chip Shop, in Weston Road, Lowestoft, would be reopen within a few weeks after the fire in October last year, which left the interior and windows blackened by smoke.
But with a complete refurbishment needed and time needed to fill out insurance claims, the store has now only just reopened after four months.
Mr Rosati is looking forward to welcoming back old customers as well as attracting some new faces looking for a fish and chip meal.
'We have been overwhelmed with the support and we had so many people saying they were looking forward to coming back,' Mr Rosati said.
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'Four months is a long time to be closed so people may have gone somewhere else, but I would urge them to come back and give us a try.
'The reaction we have had so far is really positive. People can't believe how clean, bright and how different the layout is in the shop.
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'The equipment we use is also very green.
'It doesn't use much gas or electricity and produces a better product.'
Mr Rosati, 44, has two children aged 11 and 8, but did not anticipate how long the insurance process would take to resolve.
'The process was slow but eventually it all got sorted out,' he said.
'I was just one of many cases but I genuinely believed I'd be back in business by November.
'It has been a really stressful time and money has been quite tight but the last couple of weeks have been brilliant with everyone asking when I was going to reopen.
'I want to thank them for their patience.'
Two fire engines from Lowestoft South and one from Lowestoft North attended the scene of the fire.
It is believed to have started in the ducting, with firefighters telling Mr Rosati that his shop had suffered 30 per cent fire damage and 100 per cent smoke damage.
Mr Rosati added: 'It was the build up of oil in the ducting that was the cause.
'We had three big pans on full temperature for two hours on a Friday evening, normally our busiest night.
'The fire was localised in the ducting and we were lucky that it didn't spread to the fryers.'
The blaze, which was not treated as suspicious, did not spread to neighbouring properties.
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