By midafternoon, work had already begun in restoring Joseph Leonard.
Update: Well, when we heard that Joseph Leonard had suffered a fire early this morning, one of the first things we wondered was how long it would take for the restaurant to reopen. The short answer is: maybe not as long as you thought. By midafternoon, a professional crew, clad in blue t-shirts and working for an outfit called Total Restoration Inc., was already on the scene working furiously to clear the debris. Contrast that with the fate of the nearby Paper House — owned by the same landlord — which burned down a couple of months ago, and has undergone virtually no discernible work in the interim.
Original Story: Wildly popular West Village bistro Joseph Leonard suffered an early morning fire that involved several alarms and fire engines parked up and down Sheridan Square, as first reported by Eater.
A distraught Gabe Stulman (left) outside Joseph Leonard with employees and fire fighters.
At 10 am, a pair of fire engines still lingered to combat flare-ups, but smoke had cleared and the fire seemed to be out, as Stulman and members of his staff shook their heads in disbelief on the pavement outside and took turns exploring the interior of the restaurant. All the windows had been broken out, and an employee swept glass from the sidewalk outside, though the only thing visible through the windows appeared to be smoke damage, and no charred lumber littered the sidewalk outside, which is a hopeful sign.
This neighborhood staple was a cornerstore of the Wisconsin-centric Sheridan Square, which also hosts the Kettle of Fish bar and Stuhlman’s new restaurant, Jeffrey’s Grocery, which stands right across the square from Joseph Leonard.
At 10 am, fire engines still lingered.
Sweeping up outside