Byblos restaurant and the Frontier Coffee Shop were gutted by a five-alarm fire that started at 12:30 a.m., NY1 reports.
By the time firefighters reached the scene at 593 39th Street, near Third Avenue, the fire had all but demolished the building; its roof collapsed while firefighters were inside, causing injuries but no fatalities.
Byblos had been a Murray Hill fixture since 1990. The family-owned Lebanese restaurant courted a regular clientele with its abundant yet refined spins on traditional dishes like baba ghannouj and kibbeh, and also featured belly dancing on the weekends. The Frontier was a straight-up New York diner, its menu heavy on omelets, burgers, and club sandwiches. Like Byblos, it was family-owned, and it had been in operation for 36 years.
There’s no word on what caused the fire, which disrupted bus service along Third Avenue and caused the evacuation of a neighboring apartment building.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 10, 2010