Johnny Monis e-mailed to say Komi would not reopen as scheduled on Tuesday. “If everything works out,” he noted, “we should be up and running by Wednesday.” Little Serow will be opening, as usual, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
For its 11th anniversary on Sunday, Komi received an unwelcome gift: an early morning fire in the residential space above the four-star restaurant.
D.C. fire department crews arrived at the rowhouse at 1509 17th St. NW around 9 a.m. and had the blaze under control a half-hour later, said Tim Wilson, a D.C. fire department spokesman. Fire officials had not determined the cause of the fire nor calculated any damage to the property.
“Things could have been much worse,” e-mailed Johnny Monis, the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner behind Komi and next-door neighbor, Little Serow. “The neighbors are safe, and as far as we can tell, the restaurants suffered only minor damage.”
The fire was concentrated on the third floor, in the back of a residential unit. Crews were already on site by early Sunday afternoon, sealing up the charred exterior of the upstairs space, which was open to the elements.
“Once you get inside, it’s more smoke [damage] than anything else,” said James Sirmones, emergency services coordinator for Jenkins Restorations.
Komi looks like it was largely spared. A window pane on the front door was broken and glass shards were scattered all over the stoop. There were at least two holes in the ceiling of the dining room, and drywall fragments were scattered on the floor.
“There may be some water damage,” Sirmones said of the spaces below the fire.
Monis said he opened Komi 11 years ago “on this very day.” The chef said he wouldn’t know until Monday whether the contemporary Greek restaurant would open as normal on Tuesday.
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