Fire-damaged eatery reopens Saturday

Amber Gillenwater

April 3, 2014

GALLIPOLIS — A popular local eatery will reopen Saturday, nearly six months after a fire left the restaurant closed throughout the winter.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Tuscany Cuccini Restaurant located at 1308 Eastern Ave.

Restaurant owner and chef Francisco Ortiz said this week that he is looking forward to this weekend’s re-opening and to bringing the popular Italian food back to the community.

“Everyone has been supportive of the process of re-opening the restaurant,” he said. “We are glad to be back here at the same location that was so successful before.”

The restaurant has been closed since Nov. 13, 2013, after an early morning fire destroyed the roof of the building located at the intersection of Madison and Eastern avenues in Gallipolis.

Firefighters with the Gallipolis Fire Department were alerted to the fire early Nov. 13, arriving on scene at approximately 7:15 a.m.

The origin of the fire was later determined to be in the attic space within the building. On the morning of the fire, firefighters had to use force to gain entry into the attic and extinguish the blaze.

While the first floor of the building was largely undamaged, contractors with the Kinsale Corp. of Pomeroy quickly began reconstruction of the visibly damaged roof. Clean-up efforts have been under way on both the interior and exterior of the facility since the November fire.

Initially, restaurant officials hoped to re-open Tuscany Cuccini by mid-March, but the re-opening was pushed to this weekend because, according to an email, the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce announced that it would be holding a free ribbon-cutting and re-opening on April 5.