Lolita, the Cleveland restaurant from celebrity chef Michael Symon, caught fire on Sunday, January 10, causing significant damage.
On Facebook, Symon expressed his gratitude to the Cleveland Fire Department “who acted swiftly and limited damage as much as possible,” and noted that, most importantly, Lolita’s staff had been unharmed in the fire.
In an interview with Cleveland.com, Symon called the incident “a nightmare” and said that while he was thankful no one got hurt, the damage to Lolita was considerable. “The restaurant is in bad shape,” Symon said. “It's heart-wrenching. My absolute greatest memories in my life are there.”
Originally the location of his flagship restaurant Lola, Symon converted the restaurant into Lolita in 2005, and reopened Lola in downtown Cleveland. Symon, who grew up in Cleveland, is often credited with reviving the city’s restaurant culture.
Symon has promised that Lolita will “be back strong,” and thanked his fans on social media for their support. “You have made one of my worst days in recent memory bearable...can’t even put into words how much we appreciate it,” the chef wrote on Facebook.