Almost two months after a fire destroyed local pizzeria Sal’s by Victor, owner Victor Minichiello continues to rebuild his italian restaurant.
Minichiello, who has owned Sal’s for 25 years, is coping with the loss of his restaurant after it caught fire overnight on July 28 in the Williamsburg Shopping Center on Richmond Rd.
“I’m doing terrible. I feel like I lost more than a restaurant,” Minichiello said. “I spent almost every day of my life there, almost 25 years. Terrible thing.”
According to Minichiello, the investigation is still underway to determine the cause of the fire.
“They almost finished the investigation and something started in the kitchen on the stove somewhere at some point. But we don’t know exactly. It was an accidental thing,” he said.
Approximately 50 Sal’s employees were left unemployed after the blaze.
The city has been granting emergency assistance to these employees and giving them food stamps.
While many employees have found jobs elsewhere, some are still searching.
“When I’m out of town I still call to see if everybody is okay from the restaurant,” Minichiello said.
Minichiello hopes to reopen the restaurant at the same location sometime this winter.
“I want to open by Christmas,” he said. “I’m going to get everything ready to go as soon as everybody gets back. I can’t spend one more day — you gotta understand I never closed except for Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Donations and support from the government and local residents are helping Minichiello with his rebuilding efforts.
“People have been very generous in the Williamsburg area,” Minichiello said. “I have great support from the people in Williamsburg.”