Downtown Raleigh businesses recovering after massive fire

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Days after the destructive downtown Raleigh fire, some businesses in the area are starting to re-open – while cleanup continues in buildings around them.

CLICK TO VIEW 40+ PHOTOS OF THE FIRE AND THE DAMAGE IT CAUSED

The activity has slowed business, though, according to Ryan Riek, owner of More Kitchen and Wine Bar on West St.

“There’s some traffic. There’s some people out walking about, but there’s a lot of – still police presence, a lot of fire trucks, still ATF presence down here,” Riek said.

Riek said his parking lot was closed until about 8 p.m. Monday.

“So, people being able to park. All the street parking has all been taken by the restoration company, the police officers and the first responders, which is fantastic. I mean they’re doing a great job. But, as far as business goes, it’s a bummer,” he added.

He closed his restaurant Friday and Saturday because of the fire, and after a normal Sunday off, re-opened for the first time Monday afternoon.

“Any restaurant closed on Friday or Saturday is not an ideal situation on any level,” he said.

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Riek opened in the spot 16 months ago largely because of the number of people who live in neighboring apartments. He anticipated the apartments under construction would bring even more business.

Now, many of the people who did live here will out of their homes for months.

“For us, we’re going to lose a little bit of business. I think we’ll pick that back up quickly. For them, they’re displaced for months. I feel bad. That’s terrible,” he said.

While Riek closed the business to customers Friday, his team still served food.

They provided it to first responders at the site of the fire.

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