Arad Evans Inn to close 4 to 6 months after fire guts kitchen, private dining area

Fayetteville, N.Y. – A fire destroyed the kitchen, office and a private dining room today at the Arad Evans Inn, a restaurant that opened 25 years ago in a 19th century farmhouse.

“I think we’ll have to gut everything and rebuild,” said owner Jason Thomas of the damaged areas.

That means the restaurant could be closed for four to six months, Thomas said today, just hours after the fire.

“We’ll definitely be reopening,” he said. “You have to take it in stride.”

The fire at 7206 E. Genesee St. was reported just before noon, as a small group of staff were starting to work on dinner services.

No one was hurt, Thomas said. The main dining room was not damaged, he added.

The fire started as part of a roofing repair, Thomas said. The roofer was using a hot torch to lay down the new roof, he said. That caught a small part of the building on fire.

At first, it was small – so small the roofer tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, Thomas said. One of Thomas’s kitchen staff members called 911, he said.

The fire moved into a crawl space between walls, Thomas said. “But it just got in a spot where it spread and the fire department couldn’t get to it fast,” he said.

It spread, and a sprinkler system in the attic helped firefighters put it out, he said.

The restaurant opened in 1995, and for the first few years it also offered overnight lodging.

In December, syracuse.com | The Post-Standard restaurant reviewer Jared Paventi raved about the restaurant’s fresh take on bistro food even as it approached its 25th anniversary.

“Arad Evans Inn has all the hallmarks of an old-school fine dining restaurant, but with quite a few modern touches. Sure, you can order escargot ($13.99) or beef Bourguignon ($18.99), but you can also find a burger made with meat from Manlius’ Side Hill Farms,” Paventi wrote.

Arad Evans Inn

A fire destroyed parts of the Arad Evans Inn on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. The restaurant will be closed for four to six months, the owner said.Provided by Melissa and Jason Thomas

The fire comes just a few weeks after the restaurant reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thomas said after shutting the restaurant in March, he spent about two months making improvements, including adding new equipment to the kitchen.

Arad Evans reopened in mid-June for takeout and starting in-person dining later this summer.

Now the restaurant will have to close again for months.

“You have to deal with the situation and make the best of it,” he said.

“We’ll be the bigger, stronger man,” he added, “like the 6 Million Dollar Man.”

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October: One of the Best Months to Garden in Southern California

Cooler weather and pleasant breezes are usually the norm in October, making it one of the best months to garden in southern California.

Plant And Upgrade Lawns: October is the ideal time of the year to replace lawns or patch bald spots with seed or sod. New lawns need lots of water to take root. Shorter days and milder October temperatures will cause less stress on new plantings. Grasses that do well in southern California include fescue, Bermuda and St. Augustine (the last two go dormant in winter). For existing lawns, now is a good time to dethatch and aerate your lawn.

Start A New Herb Garden: There’s nothing like fresh herbs from the garden. Enjoy them in fall and winter by planting now. Add already sprouting chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, parsley and rosemary.

Fertilize Citrus in Early October: Nitrogen should be applied to citrus trees in late summer/early fall. If you haven’t already, fertilize trees in October. No need to apply fertilizer to newly planted trees. The more mature and larger the tree, the more fertilizer to use. Make sure to water the soil around the tree before and after fertilizing. Add the specified amount shown on the fertilizer container along the tree’s drip line and mix into the soil.

Plant Native Shrubs: Native shrubs planted now have time to establish themselves during fall and winter, which will lead to a healthy growth spurt in spring. Shrubs that do particularly well are California wild lilac, lemonade berry, blue elderberry, black sage and varieties of manzanita.

Plant Vegetables: Whether in the ground or in pots, start your fall vegetable garden by first removing any remaining summer vegetables. Add nutrient-rich, well-draining soil amendments. Add a six-pack of vegetable plants and water as needed. Vegetables that can be planted in October include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, celery, onions, garlic, peas, radishes and spinach.

A Water-Friendly Landscape: If you’re considering introducing water-friendly elements to your landscape, now is the time. You can do it yourself or hire a landscaper. Plant types that do nicely with little water are tall grasses, succulents and just about any type of native plant or shrub. Install a drip irrigation system to your new landscape since it is more efficient than watering with sprinklers.

Divide Perennials: After a few years, perennials begin to form large clumps and tend to look barren in the middle. Keep your perennials at their best by gently dividing and loosening them at their roots and planting the new smaller plants elsewhere in the garden. Make sure to replace the soil around the original plant.…

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